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Lunch to Go! Food Safety Tips
Preventing foodborne illness

Lunch to Go

A tasty, nutritious lunch is an important part of your day. But harmful bacteria in food can make you sick. When packing a lunch, there are a few steps you can take to keep your food free from contamination...

First, get off to a clean start!

Wash your hands. This is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick from food contaminated with harmful bacteria.

Before and after handling food, wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and warm water.

Clean all countertops, cutting boards and utensils and then sanitize them with a mild bleach solution. Keep the mixture handy in a labelled spray bottle, and change it often so it doesnít lose its effectiveness.

Rinse surfaces with clean drinkable water, and wipe dry with a clean cloth or let surfaces air dry.

Don't forget to sanitize the lunch bag! Make sure lunch bags are sanitized on the outside before placing on clean countertops.

Let sanitized surfaces stand for 20 to 30 seconds....

then rinse with clean drinkable water, and wipe dry with a clean cloth. Or let surfaces air dry.

Finally, use clean cloths and change them often.

Be sure to clean fruits and vegetables. Raw produce can be contaminated with harmful bacteria.

Öso donít let them contaminate clean surfaces.

Wash vegetables thoroughly with clean drinkable water.

Keep pets away from food preparation areas.

Wash your hands after touching pets.

When packing a lunch, itís also essential to keep cold food chilled at all times.

Perishable food must stay cold to stay safe. That includes meat, seafood, dairy products, and all leftovers. Use frozen freezer packs to keep your food cold at or below four degrees Celsius.

Freezer packs only stay cold for a few hours, so make sure to keep your lunch bag refrigerated.

When out of the fridge, keep lunch bags away from direct sunlight, radiators and other heat sources.

It's always important to keep foods out of the temperature danger zone. That danger zone is between four and sixty degrees Celsius.

Lunch to go: nutritious, tasty...

...and safe, if you remember these four food safety practices: "Clean", "Separate", "Cook", and "Chill".

For more information, visit: foodsafety.gc.ca

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