One of the largest concerns most Food Service Professionals have with serving local food is food safety. With proper planning and training, you can safely serve local food in your child care setting! Whether you’re starting a garden or bringing in a small sample for children, the below resources should prepare you for a food safe environment.
Best Practices: Handling Fresh Produce in Schools
From USDA and the Institute of Child Nutrition (formerly the National Food Service Management Institute), these Food Safety Best Practices are applicable to Farm to Early Care and Education settings.
Food Safety Tips for School Gardens
From the Institute of Child Nutrition (formerly the National Food Service Management Institute), – School gardening tips regarding site selection, materials, and water use; chemical, fertilizer, compost, and manure use; growing and harvesting; and serving school garden produce through school meal programs. Many of the tips in this resource apply to Farm to Early Care and Education gardens.
Growing Safer Gardens
From North Carolina State University – School garden recommendations based on Good Agricultural Principles. Recommendations apply to Farm to Early Care and Education programs.
Locally Grown, Fresh, Raw, Whole Fruits and Vegetables
Joint memo from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. September 2010.
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Food Safety from Farm & Garden to Preschool
Free online training for early childcare educators and foodservice staff developed by the University of Massachusetts and University of New Hampshire.
USDA, CACFP 01-2016: Procuring Local Meat, Poultry, Game and Eggs for Child Nutrition Programs. A USDA memorandum seeking to clarify the regulatory requirements related to food safety and answer specific questions related to procuring local meat, poultry, game and eggs.
Verifying On-Farm Food Safety Fact Sheet
From USDA and the Institute of Child Nutrition (formerly the National Food Service Management Institute), provides tips to help the school foodservice professionals plan and conduct farm visits to discuss food safety practices. These tips also apply to Farm to Early Care and Education settings.