Childcare Office

Cooking and Food Policy

The Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playscheme (CUHP) is committed to ensuring that the food and drink we provide for children is safely stored and then prepared for snack times twice a day and children's cooking activity sessions.

Procedure for the storage, cooking and preparation of food and drink:

  • Ensure that food preparation and/or cooking activities are supervised by a competent Playworker, where possible with appropriate food safety/hygiene training.
  • Personal Hygiene Controls: Hair to be tied back, no nail biting, no coughing or sneezing over food or surfaces (see Hygiene Policy).
  • Parents are requested to inform Playscheme of any special dietary needs or any allergies that their child may suffer from on the booking form they complete for every Playscheme.
  • The special dietary needs and preferences list for children (displayed in the kitchen) must be checked before any food preparation or cooking activities take place.
  • Fridge temperatures must be recorded daily using the fridge thermometers on the chart attached to the front of all fridges we use (check temperature when the fridge has not been recently opened). All fridge temperatures must be between 0 and +5°C and must be altered if not. If the temperature remains high for the next reading then inform your Site Co-ordinator.
  • All high risk (i.e. spreads, cheese, milk, meat) chilled/frozen foods to be stored in the fridge/freezer immediately on arrival to site and make sure these foods are outside of the fridge/freezer for no more than 4 hours in total. Only take food out of the fridge/freezer when you are ready to use it. High risk foods must be thrown away if not eaten during current snack time.
  • During food preparation, high-risk foods should be kept out at room temperature for no more than 90 minutes.
  • All frozen foods used at CUHP are cooked from frozen and therefore does not need defrosting beforehand. Defrosted food will be thrown away and not re-frozen.
  • Any raw foods such as sausages that are sometimes cooked at our summer BBQ are stored at the bottom of the fridge.
  • Only foods within any ‘use by’ dates should be used. During the Easter and Summer Playschemes all dates must be checked daily and weekly with food kept or thrown away accordingly. Stock must be rotated so older items are used first.
  • Always wash hands (Playworkers and children) thoroughly and put on a food use only apron (i.e. not a painting apron) before handling food (including eating packed lunches).
  • Only blue (preferably new) cloths must be used for all food related cleaning.
  • Wipe up any spills on the floor immediately.
  • Ensure all utensils and surfaces are clean both before and after use by wiping with a clean blue cloth and anti-bacterial spray.
  • All external food packaging must be discarded before food preparation takes place.
  • Wash all fruit and vegetables thoroughly before preparation or cooking.
  • When using raw eggs make sure they are in date and have the lion brand mark on them; make sure all work surfaces are cleaned with anti-bacterial spray and hands are washed immediately after use.
  • Use a clean chopping board for all food preparation.
  • Be aware that young children can choke easily on small pieces of food (they slip down very easily and can block airways).
  • Keep all flexes, pan handles, kettles out of reach and watch that children do not touch the cooker—even the outside of an oven can cause a nasty burn.
  • When high risk food has been cooked (to a minimum temperature of 75°C or 170°F, testable using a temperature probe) or prepared, cool it and keep it covered. All high risk cooked food must eaten within 2 hours of preparation i.e. meats if used at BBQs (see University BBQ guidance leaflet).
  • Any temperature probes used are wiped clean after every single use and a temperature is taken from the core of the food.
  • The temperature probe will be calibrated weekly to ensure it is working correctly, by taking a temperature reading from freshly boiled water and ice cold water.
  • When cooking on a BBQ ensure you probe the food to be served ensuring it reaches 75°C or 170°F for a minimum 30 seconds. Record the temperature for CUHP records.
  • Take care when using knives. Generally it is best to use table knives without sharp edges. Remember to wash up knives separately—they cut children's hands just as easily in water!
  • When mixing food, take care that spoons (and fingers) are not licked until afterwards.
  • All food must be suitably wrapped or covered after use.
  • Should a parent, child or staff member wish to make a complaint about the food served at CUHP they may do so by contacting the Playscheme Co-ordinator.

Policy reviewed 6 December 2011.