Caring for Our Childen, 3rd Edition (CFOC3)

Chapter 4: Nutrition and Food Service

4.8 Kitchen and Equipment

4.8.0

4.8.0.1: Food Preparation Area


The food preparation area of the kitchen should be separate from eating, play, laundry, toilet, and bathroom areas and from areas where animals are permitted. The food preparation area should not be used as a passageway while food is being prepared. Food preparation areas should be separated by a door, gate, counter, or room divider from areas the children use for activities unrelated to food, except in small family child care homes when separation may limit supervision of children.

Infants and toddlers should not have access to the kitchen in child care centers. Access by older children to the kitchen of centers should be permitted only when supervised by staff members who have been certified by the nutritionist/registered dietitian or the center director as qualified to follow the facility’s sanitation and safety procedures.

In all types of child care facilities, children should never be in the kitchen unless they are directly supervised by a caregiver/teacher. Children of preschool-age and older should be restricted from access to areas where hot food is being prepared. School-age children may engage in food preparation activities with adult supervision in the kitchen or the classroom. Parents/guardians and other adults should be permitted to use the kitchen only if they know and follow the food safety rules of the facility. The facility should check with local health authorities about any additional regulations that apply.

RATIONALE
The presence of children in the kitchen increases the risk of contamination of food and the risk of injury to children from burns. Use of kitchen appliances and cooking techniques may require more skill than can be expected for children’s developmental level. The most common burn in young children is scalding from hot liquids tipped over in the kitchen (1).

The kitchen should be used only by authorized individuals who have met the requirements of the local health authority and who know and follow the food safety rules of the facility so they do not contaminate food and food surfaces for food-related activities. Under adult supervision, school-age children may be encouraged to help with developmentally appropriate food preparation, which increases the likelihood that they will eat new foods.

TYPE OF FACILITY
Center, Large Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS
Appendix C: Nutrition Specialist, Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist, Consultant, and Food Service Staff Qualifications
REFERENCES
  1. Ring, L. M. 2007. Kids and hot liquids–A burning reality. J Pediatric Health Care 21:192-94.

4.8.0.2: Design of Food Service Equipment


Food service equipment should be designed, installed, operated, and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions and in a way that meets the performance, health, and safety standards of the National Sanitation Foundation (1) or applicable State or local public health authority, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food program and sanitation codes (3), as determined by the regulatory public health authority.
RATIONALE
The design, installation, operation, and maintenance of food service equipment must follow the manufacturer’s instructions and meet the standards for such equipment to ensure that the equipment protects the users from injury and the consumers of foods prepared with this equipment from foodborne disease (1,2). The manufacturer’s warranty that equipment will meet recognized standards is valid only if the equipment is properly maintained.
COMMENTS
Inspectors from state and local agencies with appropriate training should check food service equipment and provide technical assistance to facilities. The local public health department typically conducts such inspections. Manufacturers should attest to their compliance with equipment standards of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 200, Section 354.210 (revised January 1990). Testing labs such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) also test food service equipment. Before making a purchase, child care facilities should check not only the warranty but also the maintenance instructions provided by the equipment manufacturer to be sure the required maintenance is feasible, given the facility’s resources. If the facility receives inspections from the public health department, the facility may want to consult with them before making a purchase. The facility director or food service staff should retain maintenance instructions and check to be sure that all users of the equipment follow the instructions.
TYPE OF FACILITY
Center
REFERENCES
  1. National Sanitation Foundation. 2007. Commercial cooking, rethermalization and powered hot food holding, and transport equipment, ANSI/NSF 4. Ann Harbor, MI: National Sanitation Foundation.
  2. National Restaurant Association. 2008. ServSafe essentials. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 2009. 2009 Food code. College Park, MD: FDA. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodSafety/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/FoodCode2009/UCM189448.pdf.

4.8.0.3: Maintenance of Food Service Surfaces and Equipment


All surfaces that come into contact with food, including tables and countertops, as well as floors and shelving in the food preparation area should be in good repair, free of cracks or crevices, and should be made of smooth, nonporous material that is kept clean and sanitized. All kitchen equipment should be clean and should be maintained in operable condition according to the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance and operation. The facility should maintain an inventory of food service equipment that includes the date of purchase, the warranty date, and a history of repairs.
RATIONALE
Cracked or porous materials should be replaced because they trap food and other organic materials in which microorganisms can grow (1). Harsh scrubbing of these areas tends to create even more areas where organic material can lodge and increase the risk of contamination. Repairs with duct tape, package tapes, and other commonly used materials add surfaces that trap organic materials.

Food service equipment is designed by the manufacturer for specific types of use. The equipment must be maintained to meet those performance standards or food will become contaminated and spoil (1). An accurate and ongoing inventory of food service equipment tracks maintenance requirements and can provide important information when a breakdown occurs.

TYPE OF FACILITY
Center, Large Family Child Care Home
REFERENCES
  1. National Restaurant Association. 2008. ServSafe essentials. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

4.8.0.4: Food Preparation Sinks


The sink used for food preparation should not be used for handwashing or any other purpose. Handwashing sinks and sinks involved in diaper changing should not be used for food preparation. All food service sinks should be supplied with hot and cold running water under pressure.
RATIONALE
Separation of sinks used for handwashing or other potentially contaminating activities from those used for food preparation prevents contamination of food. Hot and cold running water are essential for thorough cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and utensils and cleaning of the facility.
TYPE OF FACILITY
Center, Large Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS
4.9.0.13 Method for Washing Dishes by Hand
5.2.1.14 Water Heating Devices and Temperatures Allowed

4.8.0.5: Handwashing Sink Separate from Food Zones


Centers should provide a separate handwashing sink in the food preparation area of the facility. It should have an eight-inch-high splash guard or have eighteen inches of space between the handwashing sink and any open food zones (such as preparation tables and food sink).

Where continuous warm water pressure is not available, handwashing sinks should have at least thirty seconds of continuous flow of warm water to initiate and complete handwashing.

RATIONALE
Separation of sinks used for handwashing or other potentially contaminating activities from those used for food preparation prevents contamination of food.

Proper handwashing requires a continuous flow of water, no less than 100°F and no more than 120°F, for at least thirty seconds to allow sufficient time for wetting and rinsing the hands (1).

TYPE OF FACILITY
Center
RELATED STANDARDS
3.2.2.2 Handwashing Procedure
REFERENCES
  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 2009. 2009 Food code. College Park, MD: FDA. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodSafety/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/FoodCode2009/UCM189448.pdf.

4.8.0.6: Maintaining Safe Food Temperatures


The facility should use refrigerators that maintain food temperatures of 41°F or lower in all parts of the food storage areas, and freezers should maintain temperatures of 0°F or lower in food storage areas.

Thermometers with markings in no more than 2° increments should be provided in all refrigerators, freezers, ovens, and holding areas for hot and cold foods. Thermometers should be clearly visible, easy to read, and accurate, and should be kept in working condition and regularly checked. Thermo-
meters should be mercury free.

RATIONALE
Storage of food at proper temperatures minimizes bacterial growth (1).

The use of accurate thermometers to monitor temperatures at which food is cooked and stored helps to ensure food safety. Hot foods must be checked to be sure they reach temperatures that kill microorganisms in that type of food. Cold foods must be checked to see that they are being maintained at temperatures that safely retard the growth of bacteria. Thermometers with larger than 2° increments, are hard to read accurately.

COMMENTS
Refrigerator and freezer thermometers are widely available in stores and over the Internet. They are available in both digital and analog forms. Providing thermometers with a dual scale in Fahrenheit and Celsius will avoid the necessity for a child care provider to convert temperature scales.
TYPE OF FACILITY
Center, Large Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS
Appendix U: Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Cooking Temperatures
REFERENCES
  1. Food Marketing Institute, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service. 1996. Facts about food and floods: A consumer guide to food quality and safe handling after a flood or power outage. Washington, DC: Food Marketing Institute.

4.8.0.7: Ventilation Over Cooking Surfaces


In centers using commercial cooking equipment to prepare meals, ventilation should be equipped with an exhaust system in compliance with the applicable building, mechanical, and fire codes. These codes may vary slightly with each locale, and centers are responsible to ensure their facilities meet the requirements of these codes (1-2).

All gas ranges in centers should be mechanically vented and fumes filtered prior to discharge to the outside. All vents and filters should be maintained free of grease build-up and food spatters, and in good repair.

RATIONALE
Properly maintained vents and filters control odor, fire hazards, and fumes.

An exhaust system must collect fumes and grease-laden vapors properly at their source.

COMMENTS
The center should refer to the owner’s manual of the exhaust system for a description of capture velocity. Commercial cooking equipment refers to the type of equipment that is typically found in restaurants and other food service businesses.

Proper construction of the exhaust system duct-work assures that grease and other build-up can be easily accessed and cleaned.

If the odor of gas is present when the pilot lights are on, turn off gas and immediately call a qualified gas technician, commercial gas provider, or local gas, electric or utility provider. Never use an open flame to locate a gas leak.

TYPE OF FACILITY
Center
REFERENCES
  1. American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers. 2007. ASHRAE handbook: HVAC applications. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.
  2. Clark, J. 2003. Commercial kitchen ventilation design: What you need to know. http://www.esmagazine.com/Articles/Feature_Article/229549b01fca8010VgnVCM100000f932a8c0.

4.8.0.8: Microwave Ovens


Microwave ovens should be inaccessible to all children, with the exception of school-age children under close adult supervision. Any microwave oven in use in a child care facility should be manufactured after October 1971 and should be in good condition. While the microwave is being used, it should not be left unattended.

If foods need to be heated in a microwave:

  1. Avoid heating foods in plastic containers;
  2. Avoid transferring hot foods/drinks into plastic containers;
  3. Do not use plastic wrap or aluminum foil in the microwave;
  4. Avoid plastics for food and beverages labeled “3” (PVC), “6” (PS), and “7” (polycarbonate);
  5. Stir food before serving to prevent burns from hot spots.
RATIONALE
Young children can be burned when their faces come near the heat vent. The issues involved with the safe use of microwave ovens (such as no metal and steam trapping) make use of this equipment by preschool-age children too risky. Older ovens made before the Federal standard went into effect in October 1971 can expose users or passers-by to microwave radiation. If adults or school-age children use a microwave, it is recommended that they do not heat food in plastic containers, plastic wrap or aluminum foil due to concerns of releasing toxic substances even if the container is specified for use in a microwave (1).
COMMENTS
If school-age children are allowed to use a microwave oven in the facility, this use should be closely supervised by an adult to avoid injury. See Standard 4.3.1.9 for prohibition of use of microwave ovens to warm infant feedings.
TYPE OF FACILITY
Center, Large Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS
4.3.1.9 Warming Bottles and Infant Foods
5.2.9.9 Plastic Containers and Toys
REFERENCES
  1. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Food and Health Program. 2005. Smart plastics guide: Healthier food uses of plastics for parents and children. Minneapolis, MN: IATP.