September is National Food Safety Month, an annual campaign that heightens awareness about the importance of food safety education for all families. It is also a perfect time for families who have members with food allergies to make sure their homes, especially their kitchens, are safe for members with food allergies to avoid accidental exposures.
This article will provide tips to keep kitchens safe for parents whose children have food allergies.
All cooking utensils, pots, etc., should be cleaned thoroughly after each use to avoid cross-contamination. Many times, only 1 member of the family has a food allergy. For example, a family with 3 kids may only have 1 child who is allergic to peanuts. Not all parents will avoid peanuts altogether. They may still make snacks or meals that contain peanuts for other family members. In such situations, it is crucial for the utensils used to make a snack or meal which contains peanuts are thoroughly cleaned before using them to make a snack or meal that does not contain peanuts.
A better way to ensure there is no cross-contamination is to buy separate pans and utensils with colored handles or special markings to help family members identify them. Therefore, if there is a knife designated for a child with a peanut allergy, that knife will never be used to make any snacks or meals with peanuts in it.
Designate an area to store pans, pots, utensils, etc., for the child with peanut allergies. Therefore, if a knife is not cleaned thoroughly, it cannot contaminate a peantu-free knife, so long as the items are stored separately. Some kids have such severe allergies to peanuts that even the smallest trace of peanut may trigger severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis.
It is crucial that the person preparing the meal for a child with a food allergy washes their hands prior to making the meal. If a mother is making a peanut butter sandwich for another child and then prepares a cheese sandwich for the child with a peanut allergy without washing her hands, there may be traces of peanut butter on the cheese sandwich. Again, a child with a severe peanut allergy may have an allergic reaction after eating the cheese sandwich.
To learn more about accidental exposure to food allergens and your legal rights, click on the following related articles:
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