Prepare healthy, clean food—FDA
Preparing a snack or lunch for a child in school? Avoid recycled foods. Keep frozen water bottles inside lunch boxes to keep the temperature cold and make sure that ingredients for food items prepared in advance are kept in the refrigerator.
As classes opened this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released simple tips to mothers, guardians and food handlers in school canteens on providing healthy and safe food for schoolchildren.
“Children who bring packed food or buy at the school canteen have to be protected from unsafe foods,” underscored the FDA, citing poorly prepared and unsanitary food as the main cause of food- and water-borne illnesses.
“The best way to prevent these diseases is to make sure everyone who prepares, serves or eats food in school takes proper steps to keep the food clean,” it said.
While homemade snacks and meals are safer and more nutritious, mothers must make sure they are prepared properly, said FDA Deputy Director Ronaldo de Veyra.
Sandwiches should be prepared a few minutes before the child leaves for school. Recycled foods must be avoided and food prepared in advance containing meat and cheese should be stored in the refrigerator, the FDA advised.
Dairy products, eggs and sliced meats must not be packed immediately after cooking and must not be exposed to heat to avoid moisture. They must also be consumed within four hours of preparation, said the FDA.
The FDA also has tips on keeping food cold longer: Use an insulated lunch box or one with a freezer pack. Frozen water or milk can also help keep the temperature inside lunch box cold.
Children must also be reminded to keep their baon away from direct sunlight and other heat sources that could aid in the development of food-poisoning bacteria. Jocelyn R. Uy
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