Keeping School Lunches Safe

Did you know that perishable food carried in an old-fashioned brown bag can be unsafe to eat by lunchtime?  Now that children and teens are back in school, it may be a good idea to take a look at how you are packing your kids’ lunches.  Most food experts recommend that an insulated lunch box is the best way to keep their lunches safe.   Insulated boxes help maintain food at a safe temperature until lunchtime.   Perishable foods such as cold cut sandwiches and yogurt , can be left out at room temperature for only 2 hours before they may become unsafe to eat.   But with an insulated box and a chilled freezer gel pack , perishable food can stay cold and safe to eat until lunch.  These suggestion also apply to mom and dad who bring their lunches to work.    However, in many cases, parents have access to refrigerators at work, something the kids don’t have.

Other safety tips:

Clean Hands: Wash your hands before preparing lunches, and remind  your children to wash their hands before eating.

Freeze your juice box:  When frozen they can be used as freezer packs.   By lunchtime, the juice should be thawed and ready to drink.

Hot Foods:  To keep hot foods hot, use an insulated thermos bottle.

Non-perishable Foods:   Lunch items that don’t need to be refrigerated include whole fruits and vegetables, hard cheese, canned meat and fish, chips, bread,  peanut butter, jelly, pickles and mustard,