Is Your Child’s Lunch Safe?

Miley Legal Group

Back-to-school is upon us. Kids groan, teachers frantically shuffle papers, and parents begin to dance and revel in their new prospects of freedom and peace.  But wait.  Don’t jump for joy just yet.

As criticism of school lunches and rumors of “pink slime” abound, many parents will choose to pack their children’s lunches.  But according to an article in the LA Times, these lunches – hand picked by parents and kids for nutrition and taste – may not be so safe.

In one study, only 1.6 percent of 1,361 perishable food items were found to be at a safe temperature by lunch time.  Of those items, 618 were paired with ice packs, yet only 14 of those were found to be within an acceptable range of temperatures.

So what is a parent to do?  The Miley Legal Group offers these recommendations:

  • An Insulated Lunch Bag Choosing an insulated bag, as opposed to a paper bag or plastic lunch box, is your best bet for keeping your child’s lunch within a safe temperature range.
  • Freezer Packs Frozen gel packs will help keep perishable food items cooler until lunchtime.  But frozen juice boxes or water bottles, even a frozen orange, can also contribute to a colder, safer meal.
  • Non-Perishable Foods Even with ice packs and an insulated lunch bag, foods can still spoil and cause illness.  When possible, try to pack non-perishable items like whole fruits, peanut butter and jelly, chips, pickles, and unopened canned meats and fish.

We at The Miley Legal Group know that back-to-school can be both a wonderful and stressful time for parents and children alike, but we hope these tips can help to set your mind at ease as the kids get back in the classroom and hit the books.