7 safety tips for bagged lunches
- Use a nontoxic insulated lunch bag. It will help keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
- Buy a BPA-free reusable beverage bottle. If a reusable plastic bottle doesn’t say BPA-free somewhere on its packaging, don’t purchase it.
- Pack an ice pack with cold foods like sandwiches, yogurts and fruits.
- Use a nontoxic insulated thermos like Foogo for hot foods.
- The cooler or hotter a food starts out in a lunchbox, the better. A sandwich prepared the night before and stored in the refrigerator until right before it’s time to leave for school will be cooler than a sandwich made and put in a lunchbox an hour before leaving for school. It also means that hot foods should be heated up as to as high a temperature as possible and immediately be put in a thermos right before leaving for school. The timing can be tricky on a hectic school morning, but it's worth it.
- Throw away all perishable uneaten food that comes home in the lunchbox. Don’t try to save it for tomorrow. By the end of the school day, even an ice pack or an insulated thermos will have lost its effectiveness.
- Wash the lunch bag and all containers after each use with hot, soapy water.
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