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New Course from ChildCare Education Institute on Preventing Foodborne Illnesses

ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), an online child care training provider dedicated exclusively to the early care and education workforce, is proud to introduce NFS102: Preventing Foodborne Illnesses to the online child care training course catalog.

Foodservice managers and others tasked with preparing meals for children enjoy creating delicious and nutritious options for the children in their care. Those who prepare food in the early childhood environment are eager to prepare tasty, nutritious meals because they know how important good nutrition is for young bodies and minds.

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Foodborne illnesses are infectious or toxic diseases caused by bacteria or other agents that enter the body through contaminated food.  Every person is at risk of contracting a foodborne illness. Foodborne illnesses are prevented by combining good hygiene and sanitation, safe storage, and proper preparation and handling.

According to FoodSafety.gov: “Children younger than five years 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. In addition, young children produce less stomach acid that kills harmful bacteria, making it easier for them to get sick.”  This information reinforces the need for proper food service policies in child care centers.

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To prevent the spread of foodborne illness, all staff members should follow the general cleanliness procedures outlined in their child care center′s policies and practice good personal hygiene at home and work. Foodservice staff members need to excel in this area and act as positive role models for other employees and children.  The center should have a policy regarding staff members′ health and exclusion for illness. Staff members may have to undergo periodic physical examinations to verify that they are in good general health.

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This course is designed to help child care professionals understand how to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses by following food safety, personal hygiene, and sanitation guidelines. This course examines ways to reduce risk and promote health and nutrition in early childhood foodservice.  Additionally, this course will explore the methods to be used to prevent cross-contamination of food.

“Nutrition and taste are important, but these are not the only things food preparers should have in mind as they work in the kitchen,” says Maria C. Taylor, President and CEO of CCEI.  “Food safety should be a priority.”

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