Safe School Lunches
Keeping foods fresh and appetizing can be a challenge. Food poisoning can happen when food is not prepared or stored properly. The cause of stomach cramps, diarrhea or even vomiting might be blamed on a “flu bug” when it could be caused by a “food bug”. Food poisoning sometimes takes a few days to show up.
Following these few simple tips will help ensure your child’s lunch is not only enjoyable, but safe to eat.
Clean, Clean, Clean:
- Wash your hands well with soap and hot water for 20 seconds before you begin making lunch.
- Teach your children to wash their hands before they eat. Provide a moist wipe in their lunch box if they don’t have access to soap and water.
- Wash all cooking tools and surfaces with soap and hot water.
- Clean reusable lunch boxes or bags.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables well with clean water.
- Clean re-usable water bottles daily with hot soapy water.
Keep Cold Food Cold:
- Use insulated lunch boxes with freezer packs or frozen juice boxes to keep cold lunches cold.
- Keep lunch boxes out of direct sunlight and away from radiators or other sources of heat.
- Refrigerate or freeze sandwiches before packing them for lunch when possible.
- Don’t use meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, mayonnaise or dairy products in the lunch if it can’t be kept cold in a refrigerator or with freezer packs.
Keep Hot Foods Hot:
- Use an insulated container to store hot foods such as soup.
- Pre-heat insulated containers by fillling with boiling water for a minute, pour out water and fill with hot food right away.