Food Safety for Your Family
Packing lunch for your children this summer? Follow these tips for safe sack lunches (1):
Field trips can become harmful if your kids lunch sack is harboring food germs.
Tip #1 Buy a lunch box that is large enough to hold an ice pack plus food.
Tip #2 The ice pack will only keep food safe until lunch, do not allow your kids to eat their lunch on the way home from school. The ice pack is not able to keep food below the safety temperature zone for this amount of time.
Tip #3 For hot summer days it is best to use two ice packs per lunch bag to ensure safety.
Tip #4 Soft-sided lunch boxes do not insulate as well as the hard-sided ones.
Tip #5 Make sure your kid’s lunch box closes tightly.
10 Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Safe (2):
- Keep your refrigerator at 40 F (4 C) or less.
- Refrigerate food as soon as possible with in 2 hours after cooking.
- Sanitize your kitchen dishcloths regularly.
- Wash your cutting board with soap and hot water after each use.
- Cook ground beef, red meats and poultry products until they are no longer red in the middle and juices run clear.
- Do not eat raw or lightly cooked eggs.
- Clean kitchen counters and other surfaces that come in contact with food with hot water and detergent or a solution of bleach and water.
- Allow dishes and utensils to air-dry in order to eliminate re-contamination from hands or towels.
- Wash hands with soap and warm water immediately after handling meat, poultry or fish and at least for 20 seconds.
- Defrost meat, poultry and fish products in the refrigerator, microwave oven, or cold water that is changed every 30 minutes.
Common Questions and Answers About Food Safety(3):
Q: Will freezing food kill bacteria?
A: No, freezing at 0 F (-18 F) or less only slows bacterial growth.
Q: How long can foods be kept in the freezer?
A: Indefinitely, long periods of time do affect the quality and flavor.
Q: How soon should hot foods be refrigerated after cooking?
A: As soon as possible, with a maximum allowable time of two hours. A good rule of thumb to follow is if it has been at room temperature for greater than two hours, Throw it away.
Q: What is the best product to use to kill germs in a kitchen?
A: Any premium quality Bleach (non-scented) mixed in a concentration of one-teaspoon bleach to one gallon of luke warm water.
Iowa State University, University Extension. Food Safety Project. 1997-99.