Baby Food and Infant Formula Safety
Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to foodborne illness because their immune systems are not developed enough to fight off infections. That's why extra care should be taken when handling and preparing their food and formula.
The most important action that you can take to prevent foodborne illness in your babies and children is to wash your hands. Your hands can pick up harmful bacteria from pets, raw foods (meat, poultry, seafood, eggs), soil, and diapers.
Always wash your hands:
- Before and after handling food
- After using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets.
Other ways to keep your baby's food safe:
- Check the packaging of commercial baby food before serving.
- Don't "double dip" with baby food. Don't feed your baby directly from the jar of baby food. Instead, put a small serving of food on a clean dish and refrigerate the remaining food in the jar.
- Never leave any open containers of liquid or pureed baby food out at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Store opened baby food in the refrigerator for no more than three days: If you're not sure that the food is safe, remember this saying: "If in doubt, throw it out."
- You may want to sterilize bottles and nipples before first use. After that, it's safe to wash them by hand or in a dishwasher.
- Prepare formula in smaller quantities on an as-needed basis to greatly reduce the possibility of contamination.
More Tips foodsafety.gov