• 52°

Handwashing and food prep tips for back-to-school

USDA

WASHINGTON — Summer is coming to an end and families across the country are trading in beach balls and roller blades for backpacks and notebooks.

But back-to-school time is also followed by cold and flu season. Having the whole family follow some simple healthy behaviors can help them avoid all kinds of illnesses this time of year, including a topic we get lots of questions about: foodborne illness.

Proper handwashing is the best thing you can do to stop the spread of germs and avoid getting your little ones sick.

“USDA research in collaboration with RTI International and N.C. State University has found that consumers are failing to properly wash their hands 97 percent of the time.” said Dr. Mindy Brashears, deputy under secretary food safety. “Washing hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent illness, including foodborne illness.”

Be sure that everyone follows these steps:

  1. Wet hands with clean, warm running water, turn off the tap and apply soap.
  2. Lather hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of hands, between your finger, and under nails.
  3. Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse hands well under clean, warm running water.
  5. Dry hands using a clean towel or paper towel.

Parents and caregivers who are tasked with preparing lunch for themselves and their children, should be a good role model by showing children how to properly wash their hands. Wash your hands and cooking surfaces before and after handling food. It is not only important to have clean hands, but also make sure lunch boxes and coolers are clean before packing.

Lunch packing tips

  • If the lunch contains perishable food items like luncheon meats, eggs, cheese or yogurt, make sure to pack it with at least two cold sources, such as freezer packs. Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly so perishable food transported without a cold source won’t stay safe long.
  • Frozen juice boxes or water can also be used as freezer packs. Freeze these items overnight and use with at least one other freezer pack. By lunchtime, the liquids should be thawed and ready to drink.
  • If packing a hot lunch, like soup, chili or stew, use an insulated container to keep it hot. Fill the container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty, and then put in the piping hot food. Tell children to keep the insulated container closed until lunchtime to keep the food at 140 degrees or above.
  • If packing a child’s lunch the night before, parents should leave it in the refrigerator overnight. The meal will stay cold longer because everything will be refrigerator temperature when it is placed in the lunchbox.

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post

Comments

Local

Local state trooper, firefighter returns home after Army deployment

Local

Blast from the past: Concordia Lutheran Church opens time capsule from previous century

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with damaging video camera, tresspassing

Crime

North Carolina man faces over 300 sex-related charges

News

Coastal flooding along Outer Banks closes roads

Nation/World

GOP hopeful Supreme Court battle will help shift election

Education

‘Better chance of succeeding’: Moody, colleagues reflect on tenure, retirement

News

Collecting garbage: Locals work to beautify High Rock Lake during Clean Sweep

Coronavirus

Salisbury man grateful parents’ story has impacted many

News

Celtics take big lead and hold on to top Heat 117-106

Business

Downtown Salisbury ‘moving swiftly’ with developers interested in Empire Hotel

Business

From fantasy to fact, Cherry builds a Hobbit House at his Treesort

Business

Biz Roundup: CSP seeking to hire 100 new employees for plant expansion

Coronavirus

Police, sheriff focus on education in addressing mask-wearing complaints

Education

Candidates for East Area school board seat have widely different views on renewal

Kannapolis

Cannon Mills’ whistle sounds again, brings nostalgia with it

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Outbreak at jail annex over; new cases emerge at Kannapolis facility

Elections

In Senate race, Tillis calibrates ties to Trump

News

5 Charlotte officers recommended for dismissal after death in custody

Elections

Trump, Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota

College

Maui Invitational moving to Asheville during pandemic

News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 19

Coronavirus

Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives