Sack Lunches-Safety Tips
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    Post Sack Lunches-Safety Tips

    Sack Lunches-Safety Tips

    There are some foods which need neither heating or cooling. Foods like dry meats, peanut butter, non-perishable cheeses and cheese spreads. Canned meats and poultry products are good in lunches if they're eaten as soon as they're opened.

    Whether you brown-bag it to save money or because it's convenient, you need to follow some food safety suggestions. Be sure your brown-bag doesn't cause you more trouble than it's worth.

    When kids come home from school with stomach cramps and vomiting, parents just dismiss the problem as a "bug" that's going around. However, the "bug" may be a case of food poisoning caught from an innocent bag lunch.

    The key to packing a safe lunch is to keep hot foods hot, cold foods cold and everything clean. The bacteria that cause food poisoning live and grow at room temperatures. You shouldn't let food set at room temperature for more than one or two hours.

    Foods that should be kept cold…

    Fried chicken, potato salad, ham, beef, poultry, eggs and egg sandwiches should always be kept cold. Meat salads like ham, chicken, and egg are especially susceptible to food germs because they were handled more during preparation.

    Ideally, you should put your lunch in a refrigerator where you work or where you go to school. Of course, this isn't always possible. You should use a lunch box whenever you can, instead of a bag. The box tends to hold cold better than a bag.

    A cold device such as a commercial freezing gel, can be put into the lunch box. Or, you can use a small plastic tub filled with frozen water or a bag filled with ice to help keep the food cold.

    Certain types of sandwiches can be frozen... when you use these they'll thaw by the time you're ready to eat them at noon. Wrap your lettuce and tomato separately and put them on your sandwich when you're ready to eat it. Tomato and lettuce don't freeze well.

    An insulated vacuum bottle…

    This will keep certain kinds of foods hot or cold. These bottles are good for foods like soup, stews, and chili. These foods should be boiling hot when you pour them into the bottle.

    Keeping food, dishes and utensils clean while you're preparing the lunch will help keep the bacteria from spreading. Be sure you keep counter tops clean and you wash your hands and utensils in soap and hot water.

    Wrap foods in clean wrap. Wash and rinse food storage bottles with boiling water, each time after you use them. If you use brown paper bags, buy them specifically for lunches. Bags from grocery stores may already be contaminated from insects or food leakage.

    Remember that food can be contaminated with enough bacteria to make you sick and it won't look bad or taste bad or smell bad. Keep your lunches safe by keeping hot foods hot, cold foods cold and everything clean.

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    Very important tips here. We often forget that we need to pack lunches that keep over a period of time and w/o refrigeration.

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