USDA Recommends Adding Food Safety Items to Your Back-to-School List

With August being back-to-school season, the Department of Agriculture reminds parents to include food safety items on their shopping list. Sandra Eskin, USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety, says, “Because children are particularly at risk for serious foodborne illness, food safety must be at the top of the list when preparing lunches for school and field trips.” When preparing school lunches, or food for children at any time for that matter, USDA provides a few tips to enhance food safety. First, USDA suggests that you clean and sanitize surfaces and utensils to prevent cross-contamination during food prep. Additionally, different colored cutting boards can help keep meat and poultry separate from ready-to-eat foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Using food thermometers can help determine whether cooked foods reach a safe temperature to kill any harmful bacteria. Also, to keep perishable food safe in a lunch box, use cold gel packs combined with a frozen juice box or bottle of water.