Health Hygiene and Safe Food Policy (QA2)

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Woodlands - Health Hygiene and Safe Food Policy

The Health of the children, the hygiene of Woodlands centres and Safe Food handling practices is of utmost importance.  These 3 aspects of health and safety are the key to maintaining a healthy environment and developing respectful relationships with families and communities. 

 

National Quality Standard (NQS)

Quality Area 2: Children’s Health and Safety

2.1

Health

Each child’s health and physical activity is supported and promoted

2.1.1

Wellbeing and comfort

Each child’s wellbeing and comfort is provided for, including appropriate opportunities to meet each child’s need for sleep, rest and relaxation. 

2.1.2

Health practices and procedures

Effective illness and injury management and hygiene practices are promoted and implemented

2.2

Safety

Each child is protected

2.2.1

Supervision

At all times, reasonable precautions and adequate supervision ensure children are protected from harm and hazard

 

Education and Care Services National Regulations

Children (Education and Care Services) National Law NSW

77

Health, hygiene and safe food practices

78

Food and beverages

79

Service providing food and beverages

80

Weekly menu

 

Early Years Learning Frameworks

Learning Outcome 3

Actively support children to learn hygiene practices.

Promote continuity of children’s personal health and hygiene by sharing ownership of routines and schedules with children, families and the community.

Discuss health and safety issues with children and involve them in developing guidelines to keep the environment safe for all.

Model and reinforce health, nutrition and personal hygiene practices with children.



Related Policies

 

Purpose

Woodlands aims to promote and protect the health, safety and wellbeing of all children, educators and families using procedures and policies to maintain high standards of hygiene and provide safe food to children. We also aim to reduce the risk of infectious diseases and illnesses spreading and following appropriate OHS standards. A holistic and consistent approach to health, hygiene and safe food across the service will help to effectively meet this aim.
Woodlands aims to ensure best practice guidelines are adhered to for nappy changing and toileting routines and procedures for all Children, as well as ensuring the bathroom areas are hygienic, maintained and reduce the spread of infectious disease. 

 

Scope

This policy applies to children, families, staff, management and visitors of the Service.

 

Implementation

Woodlands will ensure that the Nominated Supervisor (who is responsible for ensuring all staff members, educators and volunteers) must implement adequate health and hygiene practices and safe practices for handling, preparing and storing of food. This policy, and related policies and procedures at the service will be followed by nominated supervisors and staff members of and volunteers at, the service in relation to - Hygiene practices. 

  • Safe and hygienic storage, handling and preparation of all food and drinks, including foods and drinks provided by the child’s home.
  • Working with children to support the promotion of hygiene practices, including hand-washing, coughing, dental hygiene and ear care.
  • Toileting, nappy changing and cleaning of equipment.
  • The provision of fresh linen and sheeting for cots and mattresses.

Children will be grouped in a way that allows educators to maintain a hygienic environment for individuals at the service.

In any instances where children display any signs of illness or injury, educators will refer to the Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy and Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Record. 

Importantly, we will work with each child to promote health and safety issues, encourage effective hygiene, food safety and dental care, and maintain a healthy environment that is safe for each child. Regular discussions between educators and children will be integrated throughout the program at appropriate intervals.

Information on health, hygiene, safe food and dental care principles and practices will be displayed in the reception area and drawn to the attention of all parents on a regular basis.

To uphold the general health and safety of all children using the service, all educators and visitors will follow the Tobacco, Drug and Alcohol Policy.

 

🔆 Equipment and Environment

Woodlands will wash mouthed toys daily using warm water and soap, and dry in the sun, rotate toys to allow for washing and use individual toy bags for babies, clean books by wiping with a moist cloth and drying, clean storage areas weekly.

Surfaces will be cleaned with detergent after each activity and all surfaces cleaned thoroughly daily.  The floor in the babies and toddlers rooms will be washed each day.  Areas contaminated with body fluids will be disinfected after washing.

 

🔆 Bedding.

Each child will have their own bedding. Each child’s bedding will be stored in a bed bag labelled with the child’s name, supplied by the centre. All bedding will be washed weekly unless washing is needed before.

 

🔆 Hand Washing Procedure.

Woodlands will provide the appropriate height basins for children to wash their hands in as well as basins height appropriate for adults. Liquid soap will be provided by all individuals to wash their hands and we will ensure any allergies to soap are identified using the Enrolment Form and catered for appropriately. Along with this, the service will provide paper towels or an automatic dryer for individuals to dry their hands.

 

All individuals should wash their hands:

  • Upon arrival to reduce the introduction of germs.
  • Before handling food.
  • After handling food.
  • After doing any dirty tasks such as cleaning or changing nappies.
  • After removing gloves.
  • After going to the toilet.
  • Before and after nappy change procedures.
  • After giving first aid.
  • Before and after giving each child medication. If giving medication to more than one child between each child.
  • Before going home to prevent taking germs home.

 

Below are instructions on how to effectively wash hands. All individuals are to follow this procedure and it should be displayed above every sink.

  • Wash hands using running water and soap.
  • Rub hands vigorously.
  • Wash hands all over ensuring that the back of the hands, wrists, between fingers and under the fingernails are cleaned.
  • Rinse hands thoroughly.
  • Turn off the tap using a clean piece of paper towel.
  • Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel/paper towel of an automatic dryer. 
  • This should take about as long as singing “Happy Birthday” twice.

 

🔆 Nappy Change Procedure. 

Woodlands accepts enrolments of children who have not yet been toilet trained. Toileting occurs at any time of the day and is specific to individual needs. Educators will communicate with parents to develop consistency with their child’s toileting habits. Educators must be aware of and consider any special requirements related to culture, religion or privacy needs. Children who are in nappies will have this detail recorded in the playground.

Toileting and nappy change will be carried out at frequent intervals throughout the day, children who are in nappies will have each nappy change recorded in the Nappy Change Register by Educators.  This is located on the Xplor app under 'care' which is the 1st option for you to select on the app, then in click on 'Health Journey' and parents will be able to check the Health Hygiene and Safe Food Policy (QA2). At times it may be necessary for a student to carry out the nappy change procedure as part of practical education requirements, and a trained educator must and will always be present to monitor this situation to ensure the procedure is being followed adequately. If a parent is present and helping their child (toileting in the bathroom), it is required that an educator accompany any other children needing to use the bathroom at the same time.

Having their needs met quickly and in a caring responsive way builds children’s sense of trust and security. Children also benefit from having the pleasant sensory experience of being free of a nappy and the comfort of having a fresh, dry nappy. It is also important to remember that the way that Early Childhood Educators react to soiled or wet nappies, toileting needs, and accidents gives children powerful messages about themselves and their bodies.


Additionally, the service will follow hygienic nappy change practices at all times using the following procedure -

  • Nappy changing will be done only in the nappy change area which will be properly stocked with paper towels or towels, plastic bags, fresh nappies, clean clothes, a rubbish bin with a sealed lid lined with plastic. Always prepare the changing area first: put on gloves, place paper towel, wipes and bag to dispose of nappy.
  • Nappy changes occur frequently and as needed throughout the day and will be recorded on the Xplor/Playground app.
  • Educators will assist the child up to the nappy change table or to go to the toilet.
  • Seal the soiled nappy, paper towel and wipes into a plastic bag (use two if soiled) and place it into the lined pedal bin.   
  • Educators will put soiled clothing into a bag and seal for washing. Remove gloves before touching any clean clothing or the clean nappy. 
  • After each nappy change, the child’s and educator’s hands will be washed and the changing table cleaned.  
  • At the end of each day, the nappy change area will be disinfected.
  • The procedure for nappy changing will be displayed in the nappy change area. 
  • The service only uses disposable nappies.
  • Soiled laundry is hygienically stored in a sealed container, until such a time as it is removed from the premises. Items returned to a child’s home for laundering will have soiling removed and will be stored securely and not placed in the child’s bag in contact with personal items.

 

🔆 Hygienic Toileting Procedure

Woodlands accepts enrolments of children who have not yet been toilet trained. Toileting occurs at any time of the day and is specific to individual needs. Educators will communicate with parents/guardians to develop consistency with their child’s toileting habits. Educators must be aware of and consider any special requirements related to culture, religion or privacy needs.

At times it may be necessary for a student to assist children in the area of toileting as part of practical education requirements, and a trained educator must always be present to monitor this situation and ensure the procedure is being followed adequately. If a parent is present and helping their child (toileting in the bathroom), it is required that an educator accompany any other children needing to use the bathroom at the same time.

 

Additionally, the service will follow hygienic toileting practices at all times using the following procedure -

  • Educators will at all times encourage the child to be independent in their toileting habits and provide assistance as and when needed.
  • It is better to use the toilet when toilet training for effective hygiene and infection control factors.
  • The service will ensure that toilets and handwashing facilities are easily accessible to children.
  • Children will be encouraged to flush toilets and wash hands after use.

 

Disposable gloves should be used for any of these stages in the toileting procedure:

  • Help the child to remove clothing if needed.
  • Help child onto the toilet if needed.
  • Help the child to wipe themselves, encouraging them to wipe front to back.
  • Encourage the child to flush the toilet themselves.
  • Encourage the child to wash and dry hands on a single sheet of paper towel, and then to leave the bathroom.

 

If the child has soiled or wet their clothing:

  • Remove any wet/soiled clothing and seal in a bag for washing. 
  • Clean and dry the child.
  • Remove your gloves and wash hands, do not touch the child’s clean clothing.
  • Put on new gloves and dress the child, wash and dry the child’s hands.  Have them leave the bathroom.
  • Clean any spills following procedure for cleaning spills of body fluids.
  • Remove and dispose of gloves, wash and dry your hands.
  • The procedure for toileting will be displayed in the toileting area.
  • Soiled laundry is hygienically stored in a sealed container, until such a time as it is removed from the premises. Items returned to a child’s home for laundering will have soiling removed and will be stored securely and not placed in the child’s bag in contact with personal items.

 

🔆 Spills

Educators and staff will use a spill kit to immediately clean up spills of blood, urine, vomit and faeces.  

Spill kits will contain:

  • disposable gloves 
  • paper towel 
  • disposable cloths or sponge 
  • detergent 
  • disposable scraper and pan to scoop
  • bleach solutions which will be prepared to manufacturer’s instructions daily. Any bleach solution which is not used after 24 hours will be discarded.

 

🔆 Blood

To clean up a spot of blood educators and staff will:

  • wear gloves
  • wipe up blood immediately with a damp cloth, tissue or paper towel 
  • place the cloth, tissue or paper towel in a plastic bag, seal and put in the rubbish bin 
  • remove gloves and put them in the rubbish bin
  • wash the surface with detergent and warm water 
  • disinfect the surface after cleaning it with detergent and warm water if the spill is known or suspected to be infectious
  • wash hands with soap and water

 To clean up a small blood spill educators and staff will:

  • wear gloves
  • place a paper towel over the spill and allow the blood to soak in
  • carefully lift the paper towel and place it in a plastic bag, seal and put in the rubbish bin 
  • remove gloves and put them in the rubbish bin 
  • clean the area with warm water and detergent using a disposable cloth or sponge and place the cloth in the rubbish bin  
  • wipe the area with diluted bleach and allow to dry 
  • wash hands with soap and water

 To clean up a large blood spill educators will:

  • wear gloves
  • cover the area with an absorbent agent (eg sand) and allow the blood to soak in 
  • use a disposable scraper and pan to scoop up the absorbent material and any unabsorbed blood or body fluids 
  • place the absorbent agent, the scraper and the pan into a plastic bag or alternative, seal and put in the rubbish bin 
  • remove gloves and put them in the rubbish bin 
  • mop the area with warm water and detergent and wash the mop after use 
  • wipe the area with diluted bleach and allow to dry 
  • wash hands with soap and water

 

🔆 Faeces, vomit and urine

To clean up faeces, vomit and urine, educators and staff will:

  • wear gloves
  • place a paper towel over the spill and allow the spill to soak in
  • carefully remove the paper towel and any solid matter, place in a plastic bag, seal and put in the rubbish bin
  • clean the surface with warm water and detergent, and allow to dry
  • disinfect the surface after cleaning it with detergent and warm water if the spill is known or suspected to be infectious (eg diarrhoea or vomit from a child with gastroenteritis)
  • wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm running water.

 

🔆 Nasal discharge

When cleaning children’s noses, educators and staff will:

  • wash hands after every nose wipe or use an alcohol based hand sanitiser to clean hands. If wearing gloves, educators and staff will do this after removing gloves
  • dispose of dirty tissues immediately.  

 

🔆 Dental Hygiene and Care.

  • Woodlands will arrange for dental health professionals to attend the service to discuss good dental health practices and guidelines with educators, children and family members. 
  • Educators form positive relationships with family members and children to discuss and encourage good dental health practices and ensure the continuity of care of each child.
  • Information is made available to family members and educators.
  • Woodlands integrates educative information and guidelines on good dental health practices into the daily routine. This should include information on tooth brushing, tooth friend snacks and drinks and going to the dentist and/or dental health professionals. 
  • Woodlands will actively encourage good dental health practices including eating and drinking habits, tooth brushing and going to the dentist and/or dental health professionals. 
  • Children will be encouraged to drink water to quench their thirst and remain hydrated.  
  • Family members should be informed of any incident or suspected injury/issue with their child’s dental health which may include teeth and gums, gum swelling, infection in the mouth, or problems, pain or discomfort the child has with chewing, eating or swallowing food or drink.

🔆 Food Preparation and Food Hygiene Procedure
Our service will follow appropriate food preparation hygiene techniques to meet the requirements of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand such as: 

  • Wash hands before food preparation.
  • Cleaning food preparation area before, during and after use.
  • Using colour-coded chopping boards in order to prevent cross-contamination of raw food.
  • Ensuring that individuals preparing food know, follow and adhere to the appropriate hygiene procedures. This includes:
    1. Washing their hands
    2. Keeping their personal hygiene at a high level. For example, tying their hair back or keeping it under a net 
    3. Not wearing jewellery (wedding band excluded)
    4. Covering cuts with a blue bandaid and gloves 
    5. Always wearing gloves if they are wearing nail policy, nail decorations or artificial nails or have long fingernails
    6. Not changing nappies before preparing food. 
    7. The Educators will boil fresh tap water in an electric kettle or on the stove top.
    8. Pour the right amount of cooled, boiled water into the sterilised bottle. Let the water cool down to a safe temperature – lukewarm or around room temperature. 
  • Avoiding the contamination of one work area to another by using colour-coded washcloths and having specific cleaning implements (for example gloves and scourers) for a specific area. 
  • Avoiding the contamination of one work area to another by using the colour-coded washcloths system and restricting the movement of contaminated items (such as gloves and cleaning implements) from one area to another.
  • Clean children’s dining tables with soap and water and dry before serving food. 
  • Ensuring food is always served in a hygienic way using tongs and gloves. 
  • Clean children’s dining tables with soap and water and dry after mealtimes.
  • Each child will be provided with their own clean drinking and eating utensils at each mealtime. These utensils will be washed after each use. Educators will actively encourage and monitor children so they do not use drinking or eating utensils which have been used by another child or dropped on the floor.
  • Providing families with current and relevant information about food preparation and hygiene.
  • Showing and discussing with children the need for food hygiene in both planned and spontaneous experiences.

 

Cooking with Children 

We sometimes include cooking experiences in our service’s programming for the children. When these experiences are carried out, educators that are supervising will be vigilant to ensure food preparation remains a hygienic and safe experience. The relevant points from the above food preparation procedure will be followed during the children’s cooking experiences. 

Examples of the type of activities children will participate in during cooking experiences include:

  • Helping choose what to cook.
  • Measuring and weighing ingredients. 
  • Stirring or mixing ingredients. 
  • Washing salad, vegetables or fruit.
  • Setting the tables. 

 

🔆 Food Safety, Temperature Control and Transport Procedure

We will, to the best of our ability, educate and promote safe food handling and hygiene in the children and families by:

  • Provide food safety information from Safe Food Australia and VIC Food Authority. 
  • Encouraging parents to the best of our ability to continue our healthy eating message in their homes. This information will be provided upon enrolment and as new information becomes available.
  • Encouraging educators to present themselves as role models. This means maintaining good personal nutrition and eating with the children at mealtimes.
  • Providing nutrition and food safety training opportunities for all staff including an awareness of other cultures food habits. 

The bacteria that commonly cause food poisoning grow rapidly between 5℃ and 60℃; this is commonly referred to as the “temperature danger zone”.

To keep food safe:

  • All perishable food for children brought from home will be immediately placed in the refrigerator provided in the service. Children’s food will be removed from insulated containers before placing in the refrigerator.
  • Don’t leave perishable foods in the temperature danger zone for longer than 2 hours.
  • Keep cold food in a fridge, freezer, below 5℃ until you are ready to cook or serve, e.g. if you are serving salads keep them in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Keep hot food in an oven or on a stove, above 60℃ until you are ready to serve. 
  • Refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible, within 2 hours. If reheating leftovers, reheat to steaming hot. Heating food is not always recommended, however.
  • Never defrost foods on the bench top. Foods should be defrosted overnight in the fridge.
  • Use a thermometer to make sure your fridge is below 5℃. Don’t overload refrigerators, as this reduces cooling efficiency.
  • All foods (dry, cold and frozen) will be used by the FIFO rule (first in, first out). This will allow the rotation of food to make sure older stock is used first. 
  • Store dry foods in sealed, air-tight containers.
  • Store food on shelving.
  • Any food removed from its original container must be stored in a container with the used by date of the food written on it. The ingredients must also be listed with the date it was opened.
  • Ensure the food storage area is well cleaned, ventilated, dry, pest-free and not in direct sunlight.
  • Prevent pests by cleaning spills as quickly as possible and removing garbage/waste frequently.
  • All foods are wrapped, covered, dated (used by date and date it entered the Service) and labelled.
  • Store foods on shelves, never on the floor including play dough material.
  • Store raw and cooked foods separately. NEVER store raw foods on top of cooked foods as juices may drip down and contaminate the cooked food.
  • Store food once it has sufficiently cooled down. Foods cool quicker in smaller, shallow containers. 
  • Fridges and freezers need to be cleaned regularly and fridge door seals checked to be in good repair.
  • The operating temperature of the fridge and freezer need to be checked regularly and a record kept of this. 

 Protecting food from contamination will be achieved by:

  • Using containers with lids or by applying plastic film over each container.  These materials will be suitable for food contact to ensure that they do not contain any chemicals that could leach into the food. 
  • Aluminium foil, plastic film and clean paper may be used and food will be completely covered. 
  • Food already in packaging may not need additional coverage. However, if additional coverage is required the above will apply. 
  • Previously used materials and newspaper will not be used.

🔆 Temperature Control.

  • When potentially hazardous foods are being transported they will be kept at or below 5 degrees Celsius for cold food or above 60 degrees Celsius for hot food.
  • If the journey is short, insulated containers may be used to keep the food cold/hot. If the journey is longer, ice bricks or heat packs will be used to maintain temperature requirements.
  • Only pre-heated or pre-cooled good will be placed in insulated containers, which will have a lid to maintain temperatures. 
  • Insulated containers will be kept clean and in good working conditions at all times, will only be used for food and will be kept away from other items such as chemicals or fuel. 
  • Insulated containers will be filled as quickly as possible and closed as soon as they have been billed and kept closed until immediately before the food is needed or is placed in other temperature-controlled equipment at the destination.  

The following will be considered when transporting food:

  • Containers of cool food will be placed in the coolest part of the vehicle. 
  • If the inside of the vehicle is air-conditioned, cold food may be transported better here rather than in the boot. 
  • The vehicle will be kept clean and maintained at hygienic standards. 
  • When food is being packed in the vehicle, cold foods will be collected last and immediately placed in insulated containers for transporting. 
  • Upon arrival at the destination, staff will immediately unload any hot or cold food and place it in an appropriate temperature-controlled environment. 
  • All food will be served within two hours of it being cooked. 

 

🔆 Food Storage Procedure

In order to implement safe food storage practices to the highest possible standard, educators will access and amend their practices to the latest known information. This information will be passed onto families. 

Educators will then implement these standards in the Service by inspecting food items when first brought into the Service to ensure they are in good order, for example, not in damaged packing, within their used by date period and at a correct temperature. Educators will then see that they are appropriately stored as per the following:

  • All foods (dry, cold and frozen) will be used by the FIFO rule (first in, first out). This will allow the rotation of food to make sure older stock is used first. 
  • Store dry foods in sealed, air-tight containers.
  • Store food on shelving.
  • Any food removed from its original container must be stored in a container with the used by date of the food written on it. The ingredients must also be listed with the date it was opened.
  • Ensure the food storage area is well cleaned, ventilated, dry, pest-free and not in direct sunlight.
  • Prevent pests by cleaning spills as quickly as possible and removing garbage/waste frequently.

For cold storage, the following applies:

  • All foods are wrapped, covered, dated (used by date and date it entered the Service) and labelled.
  • Foods are stored at the correct temperature depending on the product. Cold foods need to be stored at less than 5 degrees (C) and frozen foods at minus 18 degrees (C). 
  • Store foods on shelves.
  • Store raw and cooked foods separately. NEVER store raw foods on top of cooked foods as juices may drip down and contaminate the cooked food.
  • Store food once it has sufficiently cooled down. Foods cool quicker in smaller, shallow containers. 
  • Fridges and freezers need to be cleaned regularly.
  • The operating temperature of the fridge and freezer need to be checked regularly and a record kept of this. 

 

🔆 Play Dough

To reduce the risk of spreading infections, educators will:

  • Make a new batch of play dough each day or make a new batch each week and take out enough play dough for each day
  • Store the remaining play dough in an airtight container away from children
  • ensure children and educators wash their hands before and after using play dough 

🔆 Dental Accidents.

 If a dental accident occurs at the service, the following will occur:

For younger children:

  • The accident will be managed as an emergency. Injury forms will be completed. 
  • The tooth will not be reinserted into the socket, but gently rinsed in clean water or clean milk to remove any blood and will be placed in a clean container or wrapped in cling wrap to give to the child’s parent or dentist.
  • Seek dental advice as soon as possible and ensure the parent takes the tooth/tooth fragment to the dentist with the child. 

 For older children or adults:

  • The accident will be managed as an emergency. Injury forms will be completed. 
  • Gently rinse the tooth fragments in clean milk or clean water for a few seconds to remove excess dirt and blood.
  • Encourage parent to hold the tooth in place by gently biting on a clean handkerchief or gauze pad. 
  • If unable to reinsert the tooth, get the casualty to hold the tooth inside the mouth next to the cheek or place the tooth in clean milk, sterile saline, or clean water. Place a firm pad of gauze over the socket and have the casualty bite gently on the gauze. 
  • Seek dental advice as soon as possible and ensure you or the family takes the child to the dentist with the tooth/tooth fragments within 30 minutes, as the root endothelial layer begins to deteriorate after 30 minutes. Handle the tooth by its crown (the white enamel top part of the tooth).
  • If the tooth has been in contact with dirt or soil, advise the family that tetanus prophylaxis may be required and advise them to consult with both their dentist and doctor.

Source

  • Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority
  • Guide to the Education and Care Services National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations
  • Revised National Quality Standard
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand
  • Safe Food Australia, 2nd Edition. January 2001
  • Caring for Children- Food, Nutrition and Learning Experiences 2014
  • Australian Guide to Healthy Eating
  • Australian Dietary Guidelines 2013 
  • Infant Feeding Guidelines 2012
  • Staying Healthy Preventing Infectious Diseases in ECEC services (5th Edition) NHMRC
  • Food Safety Standards for Australia 2001
  • Food Standards Australia and New Zealand Act 1991
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand Regulations 1994
  • Food Act 1984
  • Department of Health Vic: Food Safety
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007
  • Dental Association of Australia 
  • Use and care of dummies (pacifiers) SESI Health Service NSW
  • Sterilising bottles, teats and dummies Qld Health
  • Bottle-feeding with the formula: Better Health Vic Govt
  • Bottle-Feeding (cleaning and sterilising bottles and equipment): HealthDirect Australia

 

Review

Policy Reviewed

Modifications

Next review Date

October 2019

New Policy introduced

Branding and formatting changes

Woodlands specific information adjusted

Policy statement added

August 2020

 

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