Safely Prepared Lunches Are Important
I always get asked questions on children’s school lunches. Parents ask if lunches are not refrigerated, how can they be safe? Of course, most of us attended school and didn’t have insulated lunch boxes or ice gel packs and did not become ill. However, there are some steps to take that will help reduce the risk of food poisoning and provide a safe lunch.
Here are safety tips for parents:
** When preparing sandwiches, use either frozen bread or refrigerate the night before. Otherwise, pack with cold drinks, a frozen juice box or an ice pack in an insulated lunch box and that will keep food cool enough until lunch time.
** Remind children to throw away perishable leftovers and recycle packaging when possible. Use individual containers and don’t re-use food packaging as this increases the risk of cross-contamination. As allergies are an increasing concern with children, any re-used packaging could contain an allergen, eg. peanut butter, which can be placed onto another food, eg. cheese, causing an allergic reaction.
** Wash all fruits and vegetables with tap water and then dry with paper towel before adding to the lunch box.
** Insulated bottles can also be used to keep hot food out of the temperature danger zone. Fill the bottle first with boiling water, empty and fill with the hot food.
** Most importantly, wash your hands before preparing your child’s lunch.
Stay on the Right Track
School lunches safety prepared will help children start back to school safely and ensure a great start to the new school year!