Safe School Lunch Preparation
Whether you’re packing lunch or an after-school snack, you don’t want bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses to be your child’s dining companions.
Shannon Coombs, President of the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association, offers the following guidelines for packing a safe lunch.
- Make sure your hands, food preparation and eating surfaces, andutensils are clean. Use regular or antibacterial soap and hot water toclean your hands. Use disinfectant products to clean your surfaces to helpget rid of bacteria.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly and paper-towel them dry before packing.
- Bacteria grow more slowly on cold items, so anything you can do to make cold foods colder longer is a good thing. Foods should never be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours.
- Kids like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because of the taste. Parents like this type of lunch because it’s easy to make and doesn’t require refrigeration. Other food items that fit this description include: uncut fresh fruits and vegetables, hard cheese, unopened canned meat and fish, chips, bread, mustard, pickles, packaged pudding, juice packs, canned fruits and juices, granola, dry cereal, raisins and cookies.
- An insulated lunch box is the best container. If you’re packing the lunch in a brown bag, double-bag it for better insulation and add a cold source, such as a cold pack or frozen juice pack.
- Pack hot foods in an insulated thermos so they stay hot until lunchtime. Pre-warm the thermos by filling it with boiling water. Let it stand for a few minutes, then empty out the water and put in the food. Keep the thermos closed until lunchtime.
Are you taking all necessary precautions to ensure your household cleaning routine is as safe as possible for your young children? The Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association (CCSPA) offers the following advice to help ensure a clean and child-safe home:
- First and foremost, always read and follow product label instructions.
- Schedule cleaning when there is a lull in activities, such as nap time or when children aren’t in the room.
- Don’t leave cleaning buckets containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers are “top heavy;” if they topple into a bucket, it may not tip over and they could drown.
- Never mix cleaning products. Products that are safe when used alone may become dangerous when mixed with other products.
- Take out only the amount of cleaning product needed for the job at hand. Put the rest of it away, so there’s no chance that little explorers will get their hands on it.
- Avoid distractions or interruptions when children are present during cleaning. If you answer the door, take the child with you. If the phone rings, let the answering machine do its work!