It's back to school for most Bismarck-Mandan schools with most classes starting Thursday. (Aug 25) It's time to review safety tips for packing a school lunch or after school snack for students.

Although most some kids enjoy the school lunch menu, some kids enjoy moms home cooking or a packed lunch. Some parents also pack a snack for after lunch for students with after school activities such as sports practice or dancing classes. This is a good time to review some safety tips from the USDA for packing a lunch.

In just two hours, bacteria can cause illnesses such as food poisoning and can grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 (f) degrees. Here are a few tips for packing a lunch or after school snack.

  • If you pack perishable items like cheese, lunchmeat products, eggs or milk products, be sure to include a cold source in the lunch box, such as blue ice or a zip-lock baggie of ice. Frozen boxes of juice or water can be used to keep these food items cold. You can also purchase an insolated lunch bag or box.
  • If you're packing a hot lunch such as soups or stew, use an isolated container to keep it hot. These items should be consumed by lunch time.
  • If mom and dad are busy in the morning and you're packing your child's lunch the night before, to save time, be sure to refrigerate the lunch throughout the night, then package it before leaving for school in the morning.

Plus, don't forget about school zone speed limits, bus stops and school busses in the morning and afternoons.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

You can read more about lunch food safety tips from the USDA.

(source)