Food Safety for Childminders


Food safety is particularly important in the childcare industry as children can be more seriously affected by food poisoning than healthy adults. Below you will find lots of information about what you need to do to comply with food hygiene legislation.


As of January 2014 childminders are no longer required to register as a food business.


All food handlers must be suitably trained in food safety matters relevant to their work. The requirement is designed to ensure that the food you produce is safe to eat. To satisfy this requirement you may want to consider attending a recognised food hygiene course such as the level 2 award in food safety in catering. Further details of the training offered by Winchester City Council can be found on our food hygiene training page.

Food safety management

All food businesses are required to have a documented food safety procedure based on the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles. What this means is that you must write down some simple records of how you ensure that the food you provide is safe. In most cases childminders will only require a simple system.

In order to help you comply with this requirement the Food Standards Agency has produced a system called 'Safer Food Better Business for Childminders'. Visit the Food Standards Agency website to find out more information.

Food Hygiene and Safety

Below are some general points that will help you comply with the law and demonstrate good practice:

  • Purchase food from reputable suppliers.
  • Regularly check your fridge to make sure it is operating effectively (between 0°C and 5°C). A simple thermometer kept in the fridge will make this easier. 
  • Store raw meat in covered containers at the bottom of the fridge to avoid any risk of juices dripping on to foods that are ready to eat. 
  • Do not use foods after their use-by dates
  • Make sure food is cooked/reheated thoroughly until it is piping hot all the way through 
  • Wash hand basins must have a supply of hot and cold water, soap and hygienic means of drying hands. 
  • Hand washing should be carried out frequently when preparing food. Particularly before beginning food preparation, after using the toilet or handling raw meat, fish or soiled vegetables. 
  • Use disposable cloths for cleaning. If you do use reusable cloths, make sure that they are changed on a regular basis and are washed on a hot cycle in the washing machine.
  • Use a food safe sanitiser to clean your kitchen as this will ensure that bacteria levels are kept to a minimum.
  • Baby changing facilities should be kept away from food preparation areas and soiled nappies should not be brought into the kitchen.
  • Pets should be kept out of kitchen while food is being prepared.
  • Laundry should not be carried out at the same time as food preparation
  • Walls, floors and ceilings must be smooth, non-absorbent and easy to clean.
  • You must ensure that the state of repair of your property prevents access to pests