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© 1994, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide outlines proper techniques for providing safe food in child care facilities.

Children are at high risk for food-borne illnesses. Young children are particularly vulnerable to microbial food-borne diseases because of their under-developed immune systems.

In recent years, reports of food-borne illnesses have made headlines. Most of these outbreaks involved food prepared away from home. Many cases of food-borne illness go unreported because the symptoms are similar to the flu.

Foods contaminated with microorganisms are the cause of food-borne illnesses. Contaminated food does not, however, always taste bad, smell bad, or look bad. Therefore, it is almost impossible to detect contamination.

We refer to foods implicated in food-borne illness outbreaks as potentially hazardous foods.