Perishable food must be kept cold while commuting via bus,
bicycle, on foot, in a car, or on the subway. After arriving
at school or work, perishable food must be kept cold until
Why? Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly in the "danger zone"
(the temperatures between 40? F and 140? F). So, perishable
food transported without an ice source won't stay safe long.
Here are safe handling recommendations to prevent food-borne
illness from "bag" lunches.
1. Perishable food, such as raw or cooked meat and poultry,
must be kept cold or frozen at the store and at home. Eggs
should be purchased cold at the store and kept cold at home.
2. Transport perishable food as fast as possible when no ice
source is available. At the destination, keep it cold. Food
should not be left out at room temperature more than 2 hours
(1 hour if the temperature is above 90? F).
3. Prepackaged combos that contain luncheon meats along with
crackers, cheese, and condiments must also be kept
refrigerated. This includes luncheon meats and smoked ham
which are cured or contain preservatives.
4. At lunchtime, discard all used food packaging and paper
bags. Do not reuse packaging because it could contaminate
other food and cause food-borne illness.
5. Pack just the amount of perishable food that can be eaten
at lunch. That way, there won't be a problem about the
storage or safety of leftovers.
6. It's fine to prepare the food the night before and store
the packed lunch in the refrigerator. Freezing sandwiches
helps them stay cold. However, for best quality don't freeze
sandwiches containing mayonnaise, lettuce, or tomatoes. Add
7. Insulated, soft-sided lunch boxes or bags are best for
keeping food cold, but metal or plastic lunch boxes and
paper bags can also be used. If using paper lunch bags,
create layers by double bagging to help insulate the food.
An ice source should be packed with perishable food in any
type of lunch bag or box.
8. Prepare cooked food, such as turkey, ham, chicken, and
vegetable or pasta salads, ahead of time to allow for
thorough chilling in the refrigerator. Divide large amounts
of food into shallow containers for fast chilling and easier
use. Keep cooked food refrigerated until time to leave home.
9. To keep lunches cold away from home, include a small
frozen gel pack or frozen juice box. Of course, if there's a
refrigerator available, store perishable items there upon
10. Use an insulated container to keep food like soup, chili
and stew hot. Fill the container with boiling water, let
stand for a few minutes, empty, and then put in the piping
hot food. Keep the insulated container closed until lunch
time to keep the food hot (140? F or above).
My Home-Based Business Advisor
Copyright ? by Terry Nicholls. All Rights Reserved.
About The Author
Terry Nicholls is the author of the eBook "Food Safety: Protecting Your Family From Food Poisoning". In addition, he writes from his own experiences in trying to start his own home-based business. To benefit from his success, visit My Home-Based Business Advisor - Helping YOUR Home Business Start and Succeed for free help for YOUR home business, including ideas, startup, and expansion advice.