Safe and nutritious food supports the growth and promotes the wellbeing of children. Therefore, ensuring food safety at schools and childcare facilities is particularly essential, as young children are more vulnerable to food poisoning (foodborne diseases). In busy places like schools and childcare centres, it is imperative that both food handlers and other staff are aware of the specific risks related to those settings. These include the mass preparation and distribution of meals, food allergens and choking hazards of food in young children. Maintaining high food hygiene and safety standards can help to prevent food hazards and contamination and therefore, subsequent illness. People who work with food should receive appropriate food safety training. By learning about potential hazards and practising proper hygiene, food handlers, teachers and caregivers at schools and childcare facilities can prevent foodborne diseases and even threats to life.
The Safe Food at School thematic website is intended to help schools and childcare facilities to coordinate all aspects of food safety to build a safe and healthy eating environment for students and young children. It provides information and training resources related to basic food safety requirements for schools and childcare facilities, as well as other important areas that should be addressed in order to have a comprehensive food safety programme.