Summer is over which means the kids are back in school and you are back to packing lunches on the go. Before you start packing, Environmental Health Services want to remind you about a few food safety tips that will prevent your little ones (or not so little) from falling ill because of improper food handling.
Food Packing Tips
- Perishable food lunches/snacks (like lunch meats, eggs, cheese, and yogurt) must be packed in an insulated lunchbox, or with two cold sources like an ice pack. Perishable foods can be unsafe to eat by lunch if stored in a paper bag where harmful bacteria can multiply quickly without a cold source.
- Hot lunch (like soup, chili, and stew) should be kept in a container to keep it hot. Fill the container you plan on using with boiling water first, let sit for a few minutes, and then empty before putting in hot food. Let your kids know to keep the lid closed until lunch time. This will allow the food to stay hot and safe!
- If you pack lunches the night before, make sure to put the lunch in a refrigerator overnight.
Eating and Disposal Tips
- Remind children to wash their hands before lunch. Or pack disposable wipes for washing hands before and after eating.
- After lunch, tell children to discard all leftover food and packaging according to school standards. Many schools now have composting on site or a container to discard liquids.
For more information and tips, check out: https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/events/backtoschool/