Welcome to USDAs 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 egg products.
Welcome to Food Safety At Home. Today well be learning how to safely prepare and pack bag lunches in warm weather.
Lets 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 doesnt? Dont 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 cold.
You know, its 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. Thats called the Danger Zone. So, my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and apple are not perishable. Right?
Thats right. Those foods dont need to be kept cold. And since your school doesnt 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, thats 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, thats 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 well.
Dad, you dont 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 youve got
Yes, pretzels go in your lunch box because they dont need be kept cold after lunch. Can you tell me what other foods dont need to be kept cold?
Hard cheese and crackers, nuts, cookies and snack mix! Snack mix is my favorite afternoon snack!
when Im 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) Thats right. What other items do we put in our lunch boxes?
Heres two disposable wipes! Mom always says to use both, one before and one after eating lunch, to make sure our hands are clean!
Yes, we have to wash our hands often if we dont want to get sick.
Hey, I have an idea. When we get home, we should totally check out the food safety video I found on USDAs Web site yesterday. Im sure we can find more videos about how we can pack safe lunches on that Web site.
Great idea son! Well, theres 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
Consumers may also call our toll-free USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline. Thats 1-888-674-6854.
Thats it for today. Weve been talking about preparing and packing bag lunches in warm weather.
And remember: Be Food Safe!
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