Keeping your child safe from food poisoning could be as simple as packing a frozen drink in with their lunch each day.
Sandwiches packed at breakfast time can sit for up five hours in a school lunchbox before the lunch break, giving bacteria plenty of time to multiply - especially during the warmer months.
A recent survey by the NSW Food Authority indicated only 29% of lunches were being stored safely, by using an ice brick or frozen drink which can keep lunchboxes up to 12 degrees cooler.
The survey also revealed that while the majority of lunchboxes are kept inside the classroom, a handful of students kept their lunch outside in the sun.
So, along with ensuring your child stores their bag in the shade, the Food Authority also recommends:
- investing in an ice block and insulated lunch box to keep foods cold until lunchtime
- freezing water bottles or drinks overnight and placing them in the lunch pack - they'll thaw by lunchtime, ready to drink
- keeping lunches in the refrigerator if they're made the night before.
You can read the full lunch box survey and find more food safety tips at: www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au
For interesting packed lunch suggestions, read the School Parents story In search of the perfect lunchbox website.