Food safety and hygiene

Food safety and hygiene

The Early Years Foundation Stage welfare requirements state that:

"There must be an area which is adequately equipped to provide healthy meals, snacks and drinks for children as necessary. There must be suitable facilities for the hygienic preparation of food for children, if necessary including suitable sterilisation equipment for babies' food. Providers must be confident that those responsible for preparing and handling food are competent to do so. In group provision, all staff involved in preparing and handling food must receive training in food hygiene."

It is advisable for practitioners to have a basic food hygiene certificate.

All settings providing any food and drink, including small snacks and drinks, need to be registered as a food business with Environmental Health. If you have not already done this you will need to contact your Local Authority Environmental Health Department. It is advisable to follow any advice and guidance from the environmental health officer and keep up to date with relevant legislation.

Further information is available to download from the Food Standards Agency including "Safer Food, Better Business" and "Safer Food, Better Business for Childminders"

Helpline: 0845 606 0667 or

Basic food hygiene guidelines

Hand washing

Always wash your hands thoroughly; it is the key to reducing contamination and infection.

Wash them:

  • Before preparing food.
  • After using the toilet.
  • After blowing your nose or sneezing.
  • After every break.
  • After touching pets.
  • After emptying the bin.
  • After touching raw meat, poultry, eggs or fish.

How to wash your hands

  • Wet hands under warm running water.
  • Put one dose/squirt of soap into a cupped hand.
  • Wash for 15-20 seconds vigorously and thoroughly without adding more water.
  • Ensure you wash palm to palm, back of hands, between fingers, fingertips, thumbs and wrists and nails.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm running water.
  • Dry thoroughly.