Food Safety Guidelines for Food Activities at School
Many classroom enrichment activities include food. For the safety of our students and staff, Everett Public Schools Food & Nutrition Department has developed the following food guidelines based on information from Snohomish Health District:
- Use careful handwashing with soap and hot water before preparing and/or serving food, after using the restroom, after sneezing or coughing, and as necessary when food is being served.
- Food served to students should be served using disposable gloves or tongs. It is best to use gloves or utensils rather than touch with hands. If gloves or tongs are not available, serve with well-washed hands and use minimal touch.
- Due to the increase in allergies, please check with the school nurse or teacher for any specific allergies in the classroom. Please read labels carefully: some foods have “hidden” source of allergens (for example, tortilla chips fried in peanut oil).
- Cakes, breads, cookies, and other potentially non-hazardous baked goods are preferred.
- Prepared food from a commercial source is made following strict state and local inspection. For that reason, it is preferred that food items come sealed, from the store.
- Because of the difficulty of providing adequate refrigeration, foods containing custard or cream fillings are not to be served. Commercial fruit pies are acceptable, but not pumpkin pies or other custard pies made with eggs.
- Meat dishes, meat-filled pies, sprouts, and potato or macaroni salads should not be served.
- No home canned products are allowed.
- Fresh fruit can be used if it is washed and cut immediately before it is to be served. All cut melons are considered potentially hazardous and must be kept ice cold until served.
- Never serve unpasteurized milk or juice of any kind, especially apple juice or cider.
- Canned or bottled drinks are preferable to beverages that are mixed and brought in.
- Disposable cups and utensils are preferable. Minimize handling of all disposable cups, plates, napkins and utensils.
Additional Food Safety Tips
1. Things that can make food unsafe to eat include:
- Viruses, which can get into food by sneezing,coughing and unclean hands.
- Bacteria, which can grow in food if the food is not kept at proper temperatures.
- Improper storage and preparation that can cause food to become contaminated.
2. Some foods are more likely than others to grow germs that cause foodborne illnesses.
It is very important to keep these foods at proper temperatures to keep germs from growing.
- Examples of potentially hazardous foods:
- Milk and dairy products.
- Meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and shellfish.
- Cooked potatoes, beans and rice.
- Cut melons and sprouts.
3. Field Trips: Consider these ideas to keep your child’s field trip lunch safe:
- Pack only non-perishable foods.
- Pack a refreezable ice pack or frozen juice box in the lunch.
- Any perishable foods should be packed in an insulated cooler with refreezable ice packs to insure
they stay cold.