Study: Children's packed lunches too warm to be safe

August 9, 2011 05:08

NEW YORK - Tests of more than 700 preschoolers' packed lunches found that fewer than 2 percent of the meats, vegetables and dairy products were cool enough to be safe, according to a US study.

The study by Fawaz Almansour, a doctoral student at the University of Texas in Austin, was the first to check how the food that children take to school is doing in terms of health about ninety minutes before they eat it.

"It was a shock when we discovered that more than 90 percent of the perishable items in these packed lunches were kept at unsafe temperatures," Almansour said.

According to his study, published in Pediatrics, some 705 lunches packed by parents for children in full-time daycare centers were checked for the temperature of perishable food items and the number of ice packs included.

The CDC says that perishable foods kept between 4 to 60 degrees Celsius (40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit) for more than two hours are no longer safe to eat.

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