As we hit the hottest months of the year it’s the perfect time to talk about food safety. Whilst packing lunch from home is a cost effective option, when lunchboxes are not stored properly and kept cool there is a risk of food spoilage and potentially food poisoning.
Most foods have some bacteria present but are still safe to eat when stored correctly, however a warm lunchbox is the perfect breeding ground for dangerous bacteria to grow. This is bad news for children as their immune systems are not fully developed and they can potentially become very sick.
To avoid this, any foods that would be kept in the fridge at home should be kept cool in the lunchbox. Keeping foods cool on a hot day means storing lunchboxes properly by making sure children zip up their back packs between breaks, pack fridge blocks or frozen water bottles, use insulated lunchbox bags and where possible, keep everything out of the full sun. When stored properly food will not only remain safe for eating, it will also taste better and is more likely to be eaten.
Remind children to wash hands before eating and not to share water bottles or food. At the end of the school day, children should be encouraged to throw out any cold food that didn’t get eaten as it will no longer be safe to eat.