Most of us are relatively well-educated when it comes to observing proper food safety practices throughout our lives. For example, we often know how sanitary our kitchens should be when preparing meals and how to make safe choices when visiting restaurants.
However, issues can arise when it comes to packing lunches-to-go for our children, spouses, or even ourselves. Here are some tips on how to make sure that the packed lunches you provide to your loved ones are as safe, wholesome and nutritious as the fresh meals you prepare at home.
Storing packed lunches
Insulated lunch boxes that are capable of keeping foods cool are a great way to ensure that lunch items remain regulated according to temperature. Another good trick is to store a frozen drink with the lunch itself. The drink helps to keep the contents of the packed lunch cool, as well as offering a refreshing drink once defrosted.
It’s also a good idea to speak to your children about keeping their food in a cool place whenever possible. Ask the school about where bags and lunches can be kept to ensure that proper safety standards are being followed.
Foods that are safe for packed lunches
A significant problem presented by many packed lunches is that they are regularly transported to places where they cannot be refrigerated until consumption. However, in circumstances such as these, certain foods are potentially safer options. For example, sandwiches that contain fillings such as jam, vegemite, or peanut butter are usually quite safe. Furthermore, wrapped sticks of cheese, raw vegetables, fruit, or tuna that has been properly sealed in a can also offer smart options.
Avoid packing any fresh meat products, dairy products such as yogurts or soft cheeses, and anything else that you might find within the refrigerated section of your local store.