Research by the Food Safety Information Council has found that a quarter of parents that pack a lunchbox for school fail to include a frozen drink or freezer block to keep it cool.
Food Safety Information Council Chair, Rachelle Williams, said it is great for healthy eating that 94% of households with children pack school lunches but it is concerning that quarter of those parents fail to include a frozen drink or freezer block.
‘We need to transport food to school safely to ensure our kids don’t become one of the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year. Bacteria can grow quickly in some foods, like cooked poultry and other meats, dairy products and sandwich fillings, so it is important to keep their lunchbox cool.
‘At school your child’s lunchbox will stay cool until lunchtime if kept in their school bag with a frozen drink or freezer block inside the lunchbox,’ Ms Williams concluded.
Follow these 5 simple lunchbox food safety tips:
- When buying lunchboxes choose ones that have room for a frozen drink or freezer block and are easy to clean and dry.
- Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before preparing food.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
- Make sure lunchbox foods are always well separated from other foods in the refrigerator, particularly raw meats, chicken and fish.
- Keep the lunch cool in the fridge until you are about to leave home.
The Food Safety Information Council is a health promotion charity and Australia’s leading disseminator of consumer-targeted food safety information. The Council aims to address the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year that result in 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors on average each year.