Back to School Food Safety

Back-to-SchoolIt’s that time of year again. Back to school is right around the corner, and many parents are overwhelmed with all of the preparation it takes to get ready for the year. If you pack a lunch for your child, you’re probably conscious of making it nutritious and delicious, but have you thought about its safety?

Kids' LunchFoodborne illness is a serious public health issue and can have major consequences well beyond a tummy ache. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated one in six Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.

A study, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ journal, examined lunches of more than 700 preschool children and found that more than 90 percent were kept at unsafe temperature. Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly in what is known as the temperature “Danger Zone” – between 40 °F and 140 °F (4.4 °C and 60 °C). This means that food that sits out without being refrigerated or stored in an insulated bag with one (or two!) ice packs can quickly reach this zone.

Below are some tips from the Partnership for Food Safety on packing an A+ lunch in the safety department:

If you educate yourself and follow a few simple tips, you can help prevent a major illness in your family. Making lunch doesn’t have to be stressful. Check out Pinterest for healthy lunch recipes and ideas, and don’t forget a nice note from mom or dad.

Happy school year!


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