Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Foodborne Illness-Cold Foods Cold-Water Bottle

Getting Safely Back into Routine!

Getting back into the school routine can be challenging, especially when the relaxed meal schedules are gone and the task of making lunches returns once again.  Health Canada estimates that 11 to 13 million Canadians suffer from foodborne illness each year, and unfortunately children are in a higher risk category to experience more serious symptoms.  Foodborne illness occurs when harmful bacteria, viruses or parasites make their way into the body through food or beverages and cause illness or disease.  To avoid unwanted “ingredients” making their way into your child’s lunch bag, here are some key reminders to parents when packing lunches. Keep Cold Foods Cold!

  • Keep cold foods cold at 4°C or below
    - Use a refrigerator if possible or use a frozen ice pack, frozen water bottle or juice box and place beside the perishable foods
    - Use an insulated lunch bag and store it away from sun light or other heat sources.  Refrigerate or freeze lunch bags the night before use.
  • If left at room temperature, perishable foods like cut fruit, vegetables, meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, mayonnaise, pastas, rice, dairy products and leftovers can grow dangerous germs
  • If perishables are left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, throw them out
 Keep Hot Foods Hot!
  • Foods like soups, chilli, stews and any leftovers must stay hot at 60°C or higher to stay safe.  If they are going to be eaten hot at lunchtime, use an insulated thermos or container
  • Preheat the insulated thermos or container by adding boiling water for a few minutes.  While you are doing this, heat the food in the microwave or stove top to 74°C/165°F.  Then empty the thermos of the boiling water and fill it with the hot food
 Keep it Clean!
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before preparing your child’s lunch
  • Regularly wash your child’s insulated lunch bag or lunch box with warm soapy water
  • When surfaces, utensils and containers come in contact with raw meats make sure to wash them with warm soapy water to eliminate any germs that may be present
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before cutting up or eating, even those with rinds and skins as the surfaces may be contaminated with germs or dirt
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