|Script: Bag Lunch
Preparation for Warm Weather
Welcome to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service “Food
Safety At Home” podcast series, featuring topics for the safe
handling, preparation and storage of meat, poultry and processed
Welcome to “Food Safety At Home.” Today we’ll be learning how to
safely prepare and pack bag lunches in warm weather.
Let’s join a family as they prepare for their busy day. Mom sees
Dad and son off. Dad is preparing to drive his son to school and
then head on to work.
Bye guys. Have a nice day. Honey, remember your lunch has to be
refrigerated when you get to work!
Ok, dear. Bye!
(sounds of car doors shutting)
Dad, how come your lunch has to be refrigerated and mine
doesn’t? Don’t we have the same thing?
Well, my lunch is a roast beef sandwich, yogurt and cut fruit.
All these foods are perishable, which means they have to be kept
You know, it’s very important to keep perishable food in the
refrigerator, because if you leave them out at room temperature
for more than 2 hours or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90
ºF – harmful bacteria will grow quickly and make you sick. Have
you ever heard of the “Danger Zone?”
Yes, I learned that in class. The teacher said bacteria grow
faster in temperatures between 40 and 140 ºF. That’s called the
“Danger Zone.” So, my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and apple
are not perishable. Right?
That’s right. Those foods don’t need to be kept cold. And since
your school doesn’t have a refrigerator, those are great foods
for you to bring to school or take on a field trip. And son you
can keep them at your desk and eat them at any time without
worrying about foodborne illness.
Oh, that’s why I had an ice gel pack in my lunch box last week…
because I had a bologna sandwich! The other day, mom made me an
egg salad sandwich and put the frozen juice box in to keep it
cold at school until lunchtime. Those are perishable foods!
Yes, that’s right. Mom and I usually put the frozen gel pack or
the frozen juice box in the freezer the night before, so it can
keep the food really cold until lunchtime. Son, look at your
lunchbox, it is called a soft-sided insulated lunch box. It
helps keep food cold. Metal or plastic lunchboxes can be used as
Dad, you don’t have a lunch box. Your food is in a paper bag.
Yes, and it is double bagged to help insulate the food. And if I
have leftovers, I throw them out because they would not be safe
to eat after sitting out in the heat all afternoon.
Hey, check your lunchbox and see what afternoon snack you’ve got
Yes, pretzels go in your lunch box because they don’t need be
kept cold after lunch. Can you tell me what other foods don’t
need to be kept cold?
Hard cheese and crackers, nuts, cookies and snack mix! Snack mix
is my favorite afternoon snack!
Sometimes… when I’m not going to be home until late, mom packs a
small can of tuna and crackers in my lunch box so I can make my
own snack, or I have dried meats, like jerky.
(Chuckle) That’s right. What other items do we put in our lunch
Here’s two disposable wipes! Mom always says to use both, one
before and one after eating lunch, to make sure our hands are
Yes, we have to wash our hands often if we don’t want to get
Hey, I have an idea. When we get home, we should totally check
out the food safety video I found on USDA’s Web site yesterday.
I’m sure we can find more videos about how we can pack safe
lunches on that Web site.
Great idea son! Well, there’s the bell. Have a great day!
(start car engine - drives away)
You can find all this information, and more by visiting FSIS’
Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov
. Or visit us online for assistance from our virtual
representative “Ask Karen” at askkaren.gov.
Consumers may also call our toll-free USDA Meat & Poultry
Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline. That’s 1-888-674-6854.
That’s it for today. We’ve been talking about preparing and
packing bag lunches in warm weather.
And remember: Be Food Safe!
Thanks for listening
to this Food Safety At Home podcast. Let us know what you think
of this podcast by sending your comments to
August 24, 2010