Food poisoning is one of the most common illnesses among young infants and babies which can lead to acute diarrhea. Luckily, for babies, this is also one of the most preventable diseases. The baby can be protected from consuming contaminated food by taking the following steps.
Steps To Stop Diarrhea In Kids
This is by far the most important step and is self-explanatory. Washing your hands before handling the baby’s food cuts his/her risk of getting diarrhea by half. Wash your hands for a good 30 seconds with warm water and soap. This is critical especially if you have handled raw poultry, eggs, raw fruits and vegetable that can harbour dangerous bacteria and pesticides. Wash your hands when you are coming from outside. Don’t touch the baby if you have a runny nose. Follow the same procedure with the baby. The baby’s hands should be washed and kept clean.
Storage of Infant Food
Ideally, all infant cereals and formula milk powders should be refrigerated once opened. If you cannot do so, store them in an airtight container in a cool and dry place to prevent it from being contaminated.
Wipe the Tops of Jars
Jars containing food harbour diarrhea causing bacteria on their lids and rims. These should be wiped clean before use. The best way of doing this is to place them under running water, which will get rid of the grime and dirt.
Button Down Jars
Certain baby food jars have button lids, which help to seal them in place. Always ensure that these buttons are securely sealing the jar. You should hear the ‘pop’ when the jar is being closed or opened. Newly brought jars should be checked for their lid buttons. If the buttons are missing or have been opened, return the jar immediately to the shop or the vendor. Always use a clean spoon to scoop out the cereal or formula milk powder. If more scoops are required, use a fresh spoon.
Do not feed the baby out of a can that is leaky, puffy or swollen. Always check for the expiry date.If you suspect that the food has gone stale or has a funny smell, discard its contents immediately. The food can cause potential diarrhea. If a jar is hard to open, immerse the jar in warm water until the seal has softened. Do not try to break open the jar lid as this may cause tiny pieces of glass to go into the food. Always use a clean can opener to open cans. Run it under the tap and wash it with warm, soapy water before using it.
Avoid Giving Baby Leftovers
Try to avoid giving baby leftover food even if it has been refrigerated. This is because the enzymes in the leftover food from the baby’s saliva can cause bacterial multiplication and cause it to deteriorate in quality.
Fruit juices spoil very quickly so make sure you consume it within two days of opening. Refrigerate the juice after opening and discard it if it has not been consumed in two days.
The Work Surfaces
Make sure that the utensils and work surfaces where the baby’s food is prepared is clean. Do not keep the baby’s food at room temperature for more than an hour. Keep cold food cold and warm food warm. If you have started giving eggs to the baby, make sure that they are thoroughly cleaned before storing. Cook them well before serving them to your baby. Wash all fruits and veggies thoroughly before serving.
The thumb rule for contaminated food is that it should be thrown if in doubt.