7 Mind-Easing Ways To Make Sure Your Child’s “Bag” Lunch Is Safe
recommendations to prevent food-borne illness from “bag” lunches.
1. Perishable food, such as raw or cooked meat and poultry, must be kept cold or frozen at the store and at home. Eggs should be purchased cold at the store and kept cold at home.
2. Transport perishable food as fast as possible when no ice source is available. At the destination, keep it cold. Food should not be left out at room temperature more than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature is above 90° F).
3. Prepackaged combos that contain luncheon meats along with crackers, cheese, and condiments must also be kept refrigerated. This includes luncheon meats and smoked ham which are cured or contain preservatives.
4. At lunchtime, discard all used food packaging and paper bags. Do not reuse packaging because it could contaminate other food and cause food-borne illness.
5. Pack just the amount of perishable food that can be eaten at lunch. That way, there won’t be a problem about the storage or safety of leftovers.
6. It’s fine to prepare the food the night before and store the packed lunch in the refrigerator. Freezing sandwiches helps them stay cold. However, for best quality don’t freeze sandwiches containing mayonnaise, lettuce, or tomatoes. Add these later.
7. Insulated, soft-sided lunch boxes or bags are best for keeping food cold, but metal or plastic lunch boxes and paper bags can also be used. If using paper lunch bags, create layers by double bagging to help insulate the food. An ice source should be packed with perishable food in any type of lunch bag or box.
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