How should I properly handle food for children

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Special care should be taken in preparing food for infants and small children. Their food should be freshly made and eaten immediately, not left standing.

Breastmilk is the safest (and most nutritious) milk for infants and young children. Expressed breastmilk can be stored at room temperature for up to eight hours in a clean, covered container. If older children are given animal milk it should be freshly boiled or pasteurized (a special way of heating milk to destroy harmful bacteria).

Raw or leftover cooked food can be dangerous. Raw food should be washed or cooked. Cooked food should be eaten without delay or thoroughly reheated before eating.

All poultry and poultry products should be cooked the whole way through to prevent the spread of avian influenza (bird flu).

Fruit and vegetables should be peeled or washed thoroughly with clean water, especially if they are to be eaten raw by young children. Fruits and vegetables are often treated with chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, which can be harmful.

Hands should be washed with soap and water after handling raw foods. Raw food, especially poultry and seafood, usually contains germs. Cooked food can collect germs if it touches raw food, and these germs can breed in the cooked food in a few hours. Raw and cooked foods should always be kept separate. Knives, chopping boards and surfaces should always be cleaned with soap and water after preparing raw food.