A recent study has been released regarding safe and unsafe temperatures of preschool children's sack lunches. MSNBC and the Today show have provided some information about this today.
Here are some take-away bullet points:
- Where did the study take place? Texas Child Care Centers
- How many lunches were tested? 705
- Were there icepacks in the lunches? 45 percent had at least one ice pack
- What is the "unsafe" range? "Unsafe, as the researchers defined it, was anything that sat for more than two hours between 39 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit" (Carroll, 9 out of 10 preschoolers' lunches reach unsafe temperatures)
- How many were in the "safe" range after testing? Refrigerated: 1 percent, Room Temperature: 2 percent
- What does this mean? When food gets into the "unsafe" range foods are more perceptible to bacteria which creates foodborne illnesses.
- Do we know what the consequences are and what kind of diseases the preschoolers are at risk for? No, the gap in the study is determining the actual risk of foodborne illness and what that illness might be that the children are being exposed to.
- Food for Thought. If this information concerns you, these might be some ways to address it...
- Make sure the sack lunches go into the fridge when the children are dropped off at the center.
- Choose a child care that participates on the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
- Put more icepacks in your child's lunch
- Read the entire article here: 9 out of 10 Preschooler's Lunches Reach Unsafe Temperatures
Your Turn: What do you think about this article? Tell us in the comments section!
Some parents think it is a little over the top according to the MSNBC article cited here. Are you going to take this into consideration when you are packing your child's lunch? Are you a child care operator? Are you going to be sure to put those lunches into the fridge right away? Are you going to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and provide meals at the child care and get a partial reimbursement?