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Food Safety: Protect Your Baby From Food Poisoning

Food safety tips every parent must know.
Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to food poisoning. Whether you're feeding a baby or a toddler, it's important to take these precautions during food preparation, handling and storage.

Newborns and infants

Your infant is relying on milk -- breast or formula, or both -- as her main source of food. Keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before handling formula or your own breast milk.
  • Sterilize nipples and bottles (including those used for storage) by washing in hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds, then allow to drip-dry.
  • Pumped breast milk should be stored in a screw-cap bottle, a hard plastic cup with a tight cap or freezer bags made for storing human milk. Refrigerate for up to eight days or freeze for up to three months.
  • Always check expiry date of any formula and toss once it's past its expiration date.
  • Dry or concentrated formula should be kept refrigerated and tossed after 24 hours once it has been mixed.
  • Ready-to-use formula should be refrigerated and covered up to 48 hours once it has been opened.
  • Throw away leftover milk after each feeding, whether it's formula or breast milk. Germs from your baby's mouth can contaminate the milk; some can grow even in the refrigerator.
  • Never leave a bottle sitting around. After two hours, it can become contaminated with salmonella, which can make a baby very sick.


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