Study- Kids’ Sack Lunch Temperatures Unsafe
More than 90% of sack lunches prepared at home and sent with children to preschool are stored at unsafe temperatures, a study by researchers at the University of Texas found. Keeping food at unsafe temperatures can lead to foodborne illness.
“The goal is to keep yourself and others from being sickened by microorganisms such as Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, and C. botulinum, which causes botulism. Keeping foods chilled at proper temperatures is one of the best ways to prevent or slow the growth of these bacteria,” Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
About the Study
- The study will be published in the September 2011 issue of Pediatrics
- Researchers tested 705 lunches from nine daycare centers in Texas
- Lunches were tested one and half hours before the preschoolers ate them
- 88% of the lunches were at room temperature by the time they were tested
- Less than 2% were stored at a safe temperature
- 45% of the lunches studied had at least one ice pack, 39% had no supplemental ice packs
Tips for Food Storage
Information below provided in the study and by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- The best storage temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for cold foods and above 140 degrees for hot foods.
- Between 40 and 140 degrees is the “danger zone.”
- Items that need to be refrigerated should only be left out of the regrigerator for two-hours.
- Many items other than meats, vegetables, and dairy products need to be kept cold (like mayonnaise).
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