Back to school means packing lunches. Here’s a few helpful tips for keeping those lunches safe.
- Keep them clean! Make sure your hands, food preparation surfaces, utensils, and lunch boxes are clean. Use hot, soapy water to effectively get rid of bacteria. Also, remember to thoroughly rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water before packing them.
- If you‘re making sandwiches the night before, keep the sandwiches in the refrigerator and pack them to go in the morning.
- Keep hot foods hot. Use an insulated thermos for soup, chili, or stew. First, fill the thermos with boiling water and let it stand for a few minutes. Then empty the thermos, and fill it with piping hot food. Keep the lid tightly closed until lunchtime.
- When packing lunch boxes, take cold foods right from the refrigerator and freezer and pack them in a box. Include a cold pack.
- Freeze single-sized juice packs overnight and place the frozen drink in with your lunch. The juice will thaw by lunchtime, but it will still be cold. The frozen drink will also keep the rest of the lunch cold.
- Don’t let food sit in warm temperatures for very long. Eat it or put it right back in your lunch box with a frozen cold pack. Any perishable food (e.g., meat, poultry, or egg sandwiches) that were not eaten at lunch should be discarded if proper storage is not available.