Sack Lunches for Kids Too Warm, Researchers Say
If you've ever packed your kids a sack lunch, safety is something you've probably thought about. Now experts are weighing in and saying that even if you stick in an ice pack with their brown bag, it's possible that your kid's school lunch is too warm.
A recent study has shown that school lunches often reach dangerously warm temperatures.
The study was conducted by measuring the temperature of food items in about 705 lunches, according to the Los Angeles Times. Researchers measured the temperature of the food about an hour and a half before they were to be served.
What they found was not so delicious: Only about 1.6% of perishable items that the researchers measured were in the "safe" temperature range, according to the Times.
This means that 98.4% of items that were measured were not in a safe temperature range. And, even if you pack in an ice pack, the results are a little stomach-churning. Only 8.2% of items that were packed with multiple ice packs were in a safe temperature zone, the Times reports.
Not all lunches that reach unsafe temperatures will cause food poisoning. However, there is an increased risk that harmful bacteria may grow.
What can parents do to combat the problem? For one, they could opt to pack lunches that won't spoil as easily. Excluding items like dairy and meat might be good for students who don't have access to a refrigerator, according to experts.
Experts also advise parents to put less mayonnaise, or no mayonnaise entirely since it contains eggs and can spoil quickly, reports U.S. News.
Overall, school lunches that are too warm may be dangerous, it's also something that may not necessarily cause any problems. Parents, however, might want to keep sack lunch safety in mind when making their children a meal. After all, prevention is better than having to deal with a case of food poisoning.
- Brown bag lunches not too cool for school (CNN)
- Food Poisoning and Food Safety Resources (FindLaw)
- Texas School Lunch Cameras to Monitor French Fries (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Food Safety: Top 10 Riskiest Foods (FindLaw's Injured)
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