July 23, 2024

USDA Offers Guide to Food Safety For School Lunches

Yes it's that time of the year. The USDA is offering parents a guide to food safety for school lunches. There is an inherent risk in packing perishable foods for your child to take to school every day, but with these rules you need to follow you can make sure the food stays safe to eat. USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Emilio Esteban said in a statement, "While there have been huge strides in food safety, at least 48 million people in the U.S. are still affected by foodborne illness every year. Our children’s health and safety depend on the safe food handling practices we teach and practice at home." Food safety for school lunches starts in your kitchen. When you prepare food for your child's lunch, and your own too, follow the steps of clean, separate, cook, and chill. … [Read more...]

It’s Back to School Time! USDA Has Safe Lunch Box Tips

It's back to school time! Many schools are starting in the next couple of weeks. And the USDA has safe lunch box tips to keep your child's lunch healthy and free from pathogens. More than 50,000,000 kids attend schools in the United States. A large percentage of them bring lunches from home. These lunches can be healthy, but if they are made with perishable items such as cooked meats, chicken, cheese, or egg, they must be kept at a safe temperature to prevent illness. For a safe lunch box and bag, start with an insulated lunch bag or box. Brown paper bags are not appropriate for any foods other than whole apples and cookies. The bag should be packed with a frozen gel pack or a frozen juice or drink box or water bottle to make sure that the food is kept out of the danger zone of … [Read more...]

Learn How to Pack a Safe School Lunch For Your Kids

Learn how to pack a safe school lunch this year with tips from Oklahoma State University Extension. While many children get free school lunches, some do prefer to bring a lunch from home. And parents need to be very careful about packing a safe lunch, since children are far more susceptible to serious complications from food poisoning than adults. An improperly packed sack lunch can make kids sick, especially if the food isn't kept cold or hot, out of the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F. Pathogenic bacteria can double in food in 20 minutes while in that temperature range. First, make sure that you purchase a safe lunch box. A double sided insulated box, when packed with a frozen juice box or frozen gel packs, will keep food at a safe temperature for hours. A good thermos should be … [Read more...]

Learn to Prepare Safe Lunches For Back to School By Following Rules

The USDA is helping parents learn to prepare safe lunches for back to school. Many schools are opening next week, so it's time to start planning for what your child will eat. While cafeteria workers take food safety training classes, parents do not. So it's important to learn the basic rules of safe food preparation: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. First, always wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food. Make sure the countertop is clean and that all of your utensils and surfaces are clean. Make sure to remind your children to wash their hands with soap and water before eating. And learn how to wash your hands correctly. Always keep raw meats, poultry, eggs, and seafood away from foods that are eaten raw. Using a separate cutting board for raw meats and … [Read more...]

Back to School Food Safety For Bag Lunches From the USDA

It's back to school time, and that means kids are going to be bringing bag lunches to school. Did you know that if those bags contain perishable foods, they must be handled and stored properly? The USDA has tips to help you keep your child safe.   Harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes, multiply quickly in the Danger Zone temperature range of 40 °F and 140°F; that includes room temperature. Perishable foods that are held without an ice source, or without refrigeration, won't stay safe to eat for long. So here's what to do. First, all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, must be kept cold at all times. When you're at the store, buy those foods last, go home immediately, and refrigerate them immediately. No perishable … [Read more...]

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