Food Tips

How to keep your lunch bags safe

How to keep your lunch bags safe

Author: Canadian Living

Food Tips

How to keep your lunch bags safe

Lunch bags often sit at room temperature for hours – an ideal environment for foodborne illnesses to flourish. But with a little effort, these risks are easily avoided.

Here are a few tips to protect your midday meal:

1. Invest in an insulated lunch bag that keeps food at a safe temperature for a
few hours.

2. Wash your lunch bag daily in warm soapy water, then let it air-dry.

3. Pack cold foods with an ice pack. A frozen juice box can do double duty as an ice pack and a frosty beverage.

4. Prepare cold foods, such as deli meat or egg salad, the night before and refrigerate.
The longer foods are chilled, the longer they will stay at a safe temperature.

5. Heat hot foods well before packing them into preheated insulated containers. To preheat, fill container with boiling water; let stand, covered, for a few minutes. Drain and fill with hot food.

6. Keep hot-food containers closed until lunchtime. Peeking releases vital heat.

7. If your school or office has a microwave, pack reheatable dishes with an ice pack and heat just before eating.

8. Wash your hands before eating. This is one of the best ways to keep foodborne illness at bay.

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This story was originally titled "Keep Lunch Bags Safe" in the September 2011 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!


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Food Tips

How to keep your lunch bags safe