What’s Growing in Your Lunchbox?

November 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

Chances are you or someone in your household brings lunch to school or work. While it’s a common routine, important steps to prevent foodborne illness are often overlooked.

Here are some easy tips to keep your lunch and family safe:

Keep it cool. Perishable foods like dairy and meats should not be left out of refrigeration for more than two hours. However, in an American Dietetic Association survey, four out of five kids say they don’t have access to a refrigerator at school. To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, pack lunches in an insulated lunch bag or box along with an ice pack or frozen beverage container.

Clean it up. Remember to wash vegetables and ready-to-eat fruits like apples and grapes before packing them for the day. Also, remember to rinse peel-and-eat fruits like bananas and oranges to eliminate harmful bacteria that can spread during peeling or cutting.

Clean food containers and lunch boxes daily with warm soapy water. Disinfect counter surfaces to prevent cross-contamination as you prepare meals.

Wash your hands before digging in. Nearly 60 percent of kids say they don’t wash their hands before eating lunch, but nine out of 10 say they would wash their hands with a moist towelette or hand sanitizer if one was included in their lunch container.

Source: American Dietetic Association

Entry filed under: Managing your health, Nutrition, Safety, To Your Health.

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