Two and a half years have passed since schools were closed. Now, they are gearing up to reopen their gates to students. To many, this is a welcome change after being holed up and being compelled to learn through digital means. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic’s end still not in sight, parents and students must continue to exercise caution despite this recent development.
A way parents can safeguard their students is by preparing and packing lunches and snacks ahead of time. This will limit unnecessary interactions with food vendors and fellow students who might be COVID-19 virus carriers. Send your students back to school with safe lunches by following these tips from FoodSafety.gov:
1. Use frozen juice boxes as freezer packs. The juice should be thawed and ready to drink come lunchtime.
2. Make use of an insulated box or bag to store lunch and snacks in.
3. Instruct children to wash their hands for 20 seconds with warm soapy water before and after eating. If soap and water are unavailable, pack them disposable wipes as an alternative.
4. If you’re packing the meal the night before, store your child’s lunch in the refrigerator. This will ensure the meal will stay cold longer since everything will be at refrigerator temperature once placed in the lunchbox.
5. If you’re packing a hot lunch (i.e., soup, stew), make use of an insulated container to keep it hot. Fill the container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty, and then put in the piping hot food.
6. After eating, throw out all leftover food, used food packaging and paper bags. Do not reuse to avoid contamination.
Reference: FoodSafety.gov, US Department of Agriculture – Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS)
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