2 weeks ago
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
MOMS PACKING KILLER LUNCHES!
Nine out of 10 school lunches sent from home reach potentially unsafe temperatures by the time kids eat them — even if an ice-pack was included.
Ninety percent of the 705-preschooler sack lunches tested by University of Texas scientists had risen to temperatures considered too high to prevent the growth of bacteria, the researchers reported Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Unsafe, as the researchers defined it, was anything that sat for more than two hours between 39 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. But that doesn't mean kids are actually getting sick.
So - the lunches, even with an ice pack, even with multiple ice packs, are rising to levels where bacteria could grow. “This is a provocative study,” said Dr. Michael Green, a pediatrician with the division of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and a professor of pediatrics and surgery at the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. “Their findings certainly raise concern. But there is a missing piece: it doesn’t tell you what this does to the relative risk of disease.”
Ya think? How many generations of us have survived sack lunches?
And of course one of the answers to this "problem" is to buy shelf-stable foods - expensive, preservative filled and not eco-friendly. Or to buy school lunches, which we all know are nutritionally problematic in most places.
As usual, common sense has to be the rule. Most food born illness is from improper handling or it has been exposed to bacteria at the growing or packing site. If we are safe at home, washing produce and packing lunches with some care, our kids are not going to get sick from them.
And don't forget to pack the little love notes.