According to a shocking new study by the University of Texas published in the Journal of Pediatrics, how you go about packing lunch might actually make your child sick.
A whopping 99 per cent of the 700 packed lunches for preschoolers studied contained foods that were "kept at unsafe temperatures", making them a breeding ground for bacteria -- the underlying cause of food poisoning and other bacterial infections.
Only 40 per cent of the lunches studied contained an ice pack to keep food chilled. According to Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Chief Medical Editor for NBC, cold foods shouldn't get warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and no less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit for hot foods. "Any food that is kept in between this range for more than two hours is subject to contamination."
With back to school looming, and all that lunch making ahead of you, consider 'doubling up' on ice packs for times where refrigeration isn't possible, or packing non-perishable foods -- like snap-peas and mixed nuts.
When in doubt, nix the mayo when making sandwiches for picnics and lunchboxes, opting for 'safe' mustards instead.