We employ a number of methods to protect children with food allergies from contact with the problem food. We work with catering staff to have a recommended alternative food provided for that child. Center staffs that purchase breakfast and snack foods are skilled at label reading to avoid purchase of foods with tree nut oils, and any peanut product. We consider ourselves a nut-free center; however know that food production at our caterers is not nut-free. We allow no foods from homes to be brought in and served in the center, indicated in our Operations Manual, as a final way to protect children from outside foods. When we prepare lists of children’s names with food allergies for posting in our food preparation areas, we actually cover-up the list with a piece of construction paper, but food production staff lift up the cover often to remind themselves who has what food allergy or preference.
It is our policy to honor food preferences whenever we can. For instance, we always honor to the best of our abilities, Muslim requests that their children not be served pork. If families wish their children to remain vegetarian we also find sufficient protein sources to feed those children in lieu of meat.
Food Preparation and Storage
The Lindgren Child Care Center takes steps to ensure food safety in its provision of meals and snacks Staff discard foods with expired dates. The program documents compliance and any corrections that it has made according to the recommendations of the program's health consultant, nutrition consultant, or a sanitarian that reflect consideration of federal and other applicable food safety standards.
1. Wash hands before beginning any work in the food preparation area, i.e. before making bleach, cleaning food prep area touching any food container/dish, washing dishes, putting dishes away, cleaning tables...always wash your hands!
2. Milk expiration dates must be checked daily to ensure freshness.
3. If fruit is taken from a #10 can and leftovers exist, the remaining may be stored for future use. Do not store unused food in the can. Empty into plastic containers (under sink) and cover or use zip-type storage bags. Label and date all stored items.
• All fruit from a #10, can may be served to children within two days of the can being
opened. It is imperative that food is labeled and dated correctly.
4. Unused fruit juice from concentrate must be labeled and dated and stored in a sealed container. Label and date all stored items.
• All juice from concentrate may be served to children within two days of the juice being prepared. It is imperative that all juice is labeled correctly.
5. If a fruit or vegetable will be served, thoroughly wash the fruit/vegetable under cold running water, rubbing away any bacteria. Cut fruit and vegetables on a clean cutting board or plat with a clean knife. Due to allergies and cross-contamination, do not use the same knife without rewashing before cutting another product.
6. Foods catered from Sodexo will be served at the designated lunch period. Any cut up/prepared fresh fruit that is leftover from the lunch service may be used for snack on the day of service. Any remaining prepared fresh fruit must be disposed at the completion of snack.
7. Uncut/unprepared fresh fruit delivered by Sodexo food service will remain refrigerated until use (with the exception of bananas which will be kept in a bowl above the refrigerator.) It is the responsibility of the breakfast food preparation staff person to evaluate all fruit for freshness.
8. Any leftover cold cuts delivered by Sodexo may remain refrigerated and used on the date of services and then disposed of unless expiration date from Sodexo is stated differently. For instance, this periodically may happen to keep turkey meat on hand for children that do not eat beef or pork.
• Sealed cold cuts that are opened at the center must be labeled, dated, and stored in a sealed container. These meats may be used for up to 10 days from the date of opening or the expiration date, whichever come first. After lunch is completed extra food containers are to be dumped into red garbage can and stacked for washing...before washing ny dishes countertop must be washed and bleached
10. After meals all leftover food is put into bucket by the children, buckets are then dumped into the red garbage can at the end of the counter, this needs to be emptied after lunch dishes are completed.
Foods from Home
Our standard operational procedures prohibit foods brought into the center from homes with the following exceptions:
- Parents bring in filled and ready-to-serve baby bottles for their babies if they prefer to feed a formula other than that which we provide;
- Parents bring in breast milk, either fresh or frozen, for their babies to drink;
- Bottles are labeled with the baby’s first and last name, and the date and time that the formula was prepared or the breast milk was pumped;
- Each autumn we host a Fall Family Potluck, when parents and staff bring dishes to share.
Special Feeding Needs
The center enrolls children with special needs whenever feasible for the child and the center. If a child currently enrolled develops signs of special needs, center staff continues to work with families sharing resources and support. Our participation in the CACFP, and its Civil Rights policy for reasonable accommodation, would also require us to make food substitutions, modifications, and records for families. Infant food intake is recorded every time a baby ingests food, and that record is available to parents each day, posted on the front of that baby’s locker. When children older than infants have special feeding needs, program staff keeps a daily record documenting the type and quantity of food a child consumed that day and shares that information with parents.
Liquids and foods that are hotter than 110 degrees Fahrenheit are kept out of children's reach. We monitor the temperatures of our automatic hand washing sinks, and have the sensors adjusted periodically to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Staff will not bring hot liquids (110 degrees Fahrenheit or above) into the classrooms. They may keep their hot beverages in the staff room. Infant staff does not use bottle warmers nor microwaves to warm bottles, rather take the chill off from bottles in hot tap water. These are monitored so the temperature of the tap water is not 110 degrees Fahrenheit. We check food temperatures when food arrives from the Caterer to ensure a hot food temp of 140 degrees or higher. Foods are then placed in serving bowls on tables for family style service, and have cooled to 110 degrees or below by the time children sit at table and begin serving themselves.
Notices about keeping foods and liquids 110 degrees F. or higher out of reach of children are posted in the food preparation areas of the center.