Safe eating on the Go
When packing a meal for work, think of interesting things to pack. Also think of keeping it safe so you don’t get sick from spoiled foods. If you get sick from spoiled foods, you have what is called a foodborne illness.
To avoid getting a foodborne illness, prepare foods with clean hands, clean equipment, and in a clean work area. Wash lunch boxes with warm water and soap after every use.
Anything taken out of the refrigerator and put into your meal must be kept cold. Foods that must be kept cold in a packed lunch include
Meat, tuna, or egg sandwiches
milk, cheese, and yogurt
canned foods that are open
rice and pastas
If the meal contains precooked foods, like leftover pizza that needs to be warmed in a microwave oven, these foods also need to be kept cold until reheated. Sandwiches can be frozen to keep them safe. If you bring them to work at the beginning of the day, they will thaw by lunchtime. Lettuce and other greens do not freeze well. Pack these separately, and add them to your sandwich just before eating.
If there is a refrigerator at work, put your lunch in the refrigerator to keep it cold. You can also keep your packed lunch cold with an ice pack. You can make your own ice pack by freezing water in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid such as a water bottle.
Foods that do not need to be kept cold are
peanut butter sandwiches
cookies, crackers, chips, and breads
fresh fruit in the peel
unopened canned foods