Back-to-School Food Safety Tips for Parents
Children are at high risk of contracting foodborne illness because their immune systems are still developing. In fact, children under the age of five have the highest incidence of Campylobacter, E. coli, and Salmonella infection among any other age group in the United States. This highlights the importance of following the USDA’s four food safety steps whenever preparing meals: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.
To help families teach the importance of the four steps to young children, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has developed a food safety “science experiment” that parents and children can carry out together to make sure school lunches are safe to eat come lunchtime.
To start, parents should pack their child’s lunch and have their child store it as they would at school. After the normal time between lunch packing and consumption has passed, parents should help their child take the temperature of the lunch contents. Cold items should still be below 40 °F and hot items should be above 140°F. If food in is in the Danger Zone, between 40 °F and 140 °F, parents can use the following tips to ensure their child’s lunch remains safely outside the Danger Zone for future preparations... More
Back to School Brochure (PDF; 3mb)