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Back to School Food Safety: Safe Food Prep

Posted on in Foodborne illness

 rolling meadows food poisioning lawyerA quick look around any discount store or department store will prove it: “back-to-school” season is officially here. Weatherwise, we are at the height of summer, but in a few short weeks, children throughout Illinois and across the country will soon return to the classroom. If you are the parent of school-aged children, your to-do list is probably starting to grow, but keeping your children safe is always a top priority. With this in mind, we will spend the next few posts talking about the importance of food safety as it pertains to your child’s lunch box. Today, we are focusing on safe food prep practices that reduce the chances of your child developing a foodborne illness.

Cold Packs and Insulation

Your child’s school lunch safety starts long before the lunch bell rings. In fact, as you are doing your back-to-school shopping, there are a few things that should be on your list that can help prevent food poisoning. Specifically, you should consider getting insulated lunch bags or boxes and cold packs to go in them.

Novelty lunch boxes have long been a part of school lunches, but as nostalgic as we might be for the Transformers, My Little Pony, or Star Wars boxes of our youth, older designs contributed virtually nothing to food safety. Instead, look for boxes or bags that feature a layer of insulation to keep contents cold. In addition, be sure to pick up a few cold packs or ice packs. Keep enough on hand that your child’s lunch will stay cold even if they forgot to put yesterday’s ice packs back in the freezer.

Keep It Clean

When you are packing your child’s lunch, be sure to start with clean hands and clean food prep surfaces. If your children are helping, make everyone wash their hands first to limit the spread of bacteria. It is also important to wash out lunch bags or boxes before and after each use. Rinsing fresh fruit and vegetables and allowing them to dry completely can also reduce potential contamination.

Pack the Night Before

The safest time to pack your child’s lunch is the night before so it can be kept in the refrigerator overnight. This helps with food safety by rechilling any food that might have started to warm as you prepared it.

You are also less likely to be rushed in the evening, which means you can be more vigilant about safe food prep practices. It also allows your child to grab their lunch and go in the morning, hopefully streamlining your family’s morning routine.

Contact a DuPage County Food Poisoning Attorney

In our next post, we will look at some of the food safety responsibilities your children have once they leave for school. Meanwhile, if you or your child has become ill due to consuming contaminated food, an experienced Illinois foodborne illness lawyer can help you explore your options for taking action. Call 312-981-0409 for a free consultation at Newland & Newland, LLP today.

 

Source:

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/food_safety_tips_for_back_to_school_lunches

 

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