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Food Safety Concerns for Children Under Five

Being a mom of little ones, I am constantly looking around to make sure they don’t put dirty things in their mouth or chewing on things that don’t belong in their mouth. But what many may not be aware of is the heightened riskin the event of food borne illness.

Children under the age of five are at an increased risk for foodborne illness and related health complications because their immune systems are still developing.  Young children with developing immune systems cannot fight off infections as well as adults can.  The little tikes produce less stomach acid (which kill harmful bacteria), making it easier for them to get sick.

According to the CDC, children younger than five have the highest incidence rates of any age group of Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E.Coli 0157, E. Coli non-0157, Salmonella, Shigella, and Yersinia infection.

If you prepare food for children under the age of five you should always follow the four steps:

Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often

Separate: Separate raw meat and poultry from ready-to-eat foods

Cook: Cook food to the right temperatures

Chill: Chill raw meat and poultry as well as cooked leftovers promptly (within 2 hours)

Following these guidelines will help keep your kiddos safe! Happy Cooking!

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