Packing your food when going out to work or school is always recommended. It helps you enjoy healthy, great tasting meals and saves you money. It is however important that this food is safe and nutritious at the time of intake. These general rules will ensure that your food remains safe and delicious.
Keep your kitchen surfaces and utensils clean. Clean your hands before handling food to ensure that it is not contaminated. Ensure that the lunch boxes are clean and dry before using them.
Use different cutting boards for cooked and uncooked foods to avoid cross-contamination.
Clean your fruits and vegetables thoroughly with running water.
Observe Temperature Regulations
Ensure that you keep cold food cold, and hot food hot. It will discourage the breeding of harmful bacteria.
Put hot food in a food flask. Rinse your container with hot water before putting steaming hot food in it.
Keep cold foods in a refrigerator until the last minute. Consider including a freezer gel pack, frozen water bottle or an ice pack in the lunch container to keep your food cold. This food should also be kept in a refrigerator as soon as you get to your destination.
Keep your food away from direct sunlight.
Avoid packing Certain foods Together
Uncooked foods, for example, should not be kept in the same compartment with cooked foods. Separate dry and wet foods.
In case you need to keep your food in the refrigerator overnight, ensure that you divide it into smaller portions for easier cooling or freezing. Keep lunch box food away from other foods in the fridge to avoid contamination. Foods like raw meat, raw fish, and chicken have juices that can contaminate your fruits and salads.
How to Pack Food
Whether you are packing food for use at school, work, road trip or a picnic, a good lunch box is critical to ensure that your food arrives in tip-top condition. Here are some lunch boxes that will help you achieve this.
Electric Lunch Boxes
These are excellent for office use and road trips. Electric lunch boxes solve the problem of having to eat cold food or food that is at room temperature. They are an affordable alternative to your typical insulated lunch box. They have a heating element and a heating feature to warm up your food and keep it hot. This lunch box is different from other lunch boxes in that you can apply heat directly to your meal. They are also known as the smart lunch box.
Here are some benefits of embracing this great technology.
- Allows You to Enjoy a Wide Range of foods
Some models of the smart lunch box come with an inbuilt steamer which will enable you to add some water to foods like pasta, rice, and potatoes. Foods like plain rice, sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza slices, baked beans among others, can be cooked thoroughly using the smart lunch box.
That’s quite a variety of food that you will enjoy and is good for your health.
- Easy and convenient to use
The electric lunch box can be used anywhere as long as there is a pluggable power source. You can use it in the office or your car. Besides heating food, you can warm your baby bottles in it as well.
- Saves time and money
Invest in an electric lunch box, and you will save an amount of lunch money. A typical lunch will cost you $10 daily. Save that money over a period of one year, and you will be smiling all the way to the bank.
Stainless Steel Lunch Boxes
If you do not want to compromise on the safety of your food, then the stainless steel lunch box is an excellent option for you. Research has shown that plastic contains a harmful chemical known as Bisphenol A (BPA) making plastic lunch boxes unsafe. Stainless steel ranks among the safest materials in food handling and storage.
High-quality stainless steel lunch boxes are more durable than the plastic lunch boxes and more affordable than the electric lunch boxes. They come in a variety sizes to cater for your serving needs. However, ensure that what you are buying is genuine stainless steel and not any other non- plastic material.
Insulated Lunch Boxes and Bags
Insulated boxes and bags come with an insulating layer that helps keep your food cold. Various sizes and colors are available for both male and female, children and adults. They are easy to clean. They do a better job compared to metal or plastic lunch boxes without insulation.
Now that you have decided to carry packed lunch, it’s essential that you consider the food type, temperatures under which that food remains safe and how long the food will remain packed before consumption.