Childcare Breast Milk and Formula Storage

When to
throw away
Leftover Formula
Immediately. Bacteria from the baby’s mouth contaminate the formula, where they can grow and multiply.


*Prepared bottles
After 24 hours


*Open containers of ready-to-feed or concentrated formula
After 48 hours


*Unused breast milk
After 48 hours


(May be frozen for two weeks)

  * These items should be kept in the refrigerator

Why is food safety important in child care settings?

  • Most children under the age of six receive some form of non-parental care.
  • Young children are especially susceptible to foodborne illnesses because their immune systems aren’t fully developed. Such illnesses can cause serious side effects, even death.
  • Illness originally caused by foodborne bacteria is easily spread by children who have diarrhea.

Safe Handling of Babies Bottles


Wash bottles, bottle caps, and nipples in the dishwasher. If you wash them by hand, wash them in warm water with dish soap. Rinse well and then boil for five minutes.


Keep filled bottles of formula or breast milk in the refrigerator until just before feeding.
Refrigerate open containers of ready-to-feed or concentrated formula.


Place bottles in hot (not boiling) water for five minutes.
Shake well and test milk temperature by putting a few drops on the inside of your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot before feeding.

Never Microwave Baby Bottles

Why? Microwaves heat to very high temperatures and heat unevenly. They could make a portion of the milk too hot. The baby’s mouth and throat could be scalded. 

Aged Care Balancing resident lifestyles and food safety

Should we accept food brought from home?

It is appropriate for homes to take a risk management approach to this issue.
Management of this issue will depend on a variety of considerations, for example the extent to which food is being brought in by visitors, information available to residents and visitors about food safety issues for vulnerable populations, whether the food is being consumed by one resident or multiple residents, whether there are processes for ensuring the food can be appropriately stored,
labelled and disposed of when necessary.
Homes should also be aware of their obligations under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, in particular in relation to Food Safety Programs required for vulnerable people such as their residents.
However, those obligations should not be taken to be an impediment. They should only be seen as something to be accounted for in the home’s processing of food for the residents in order to ensure the residents’ ongoing safety while satisfying the requirements of residents’ lifestyles.

When all else fails,
accept graciously and dispose of discreetly.