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Lunch Boxes And Ice Packs


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Hi, I just wondered if you could tell me whether or not lunch boxes not stored in the fridge have to have an ice pack in them? We had a visit from the food safety officer who says they are okay without for up to 4 hours. Yet it says in our welcome pack that according to OFSTED guidelines they should have an ice pack. Does anyone know what guidance this is referring to?

 

Many thanks for your help

 

Suebear

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My Food Safety course advised ice packs - we have always asked for them winter or summer and particularly if children have questionable fillings such as mayonnaise, yoghurts etc.

 

With our Sainsburys vouchers this year we now have a cold bag - trolley on wheels to store the lunch boxes in as well!

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The guidance from the food safety officer said food can be stored above 8 degrees for up to 4 hours and therefore should be okay without ice packs (eg. all eaten by lunch). We've had a child bite into a liquid ice pack so I wanted to give parents the option not to use them but I don't want to do this if clashes with other regulations!!!

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I don't check - but request, ask, beg and inform parents every way I know and I have to say rarely do we sit for lunch and there is not a cooling device in the lunch boxes, and as I have mentioned above, we now use an enormous cool bag on wheels ourselves to store them all in, but doubt that this alone would cool an insulated lunch box which did not already hold a cool brick

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quite a few of our parents freeze those finger yoghurt things as ice packs

 

this is what we recomend too another (alternative is a partially frozen drink)

we dont refridgerate lunches, we just advise parents of the fact and suggest that they add some kind of cooling aid (preferable frozen foods) we had a child bite into a cooling pack as well!!.

 

we were also told on our food hygiene course that if lunches go in the fridge they must be removed from the lunch bag because of cross contamination with foods already in the fridge and the lunch bag (which has possibly been in all kinds of places)

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The guidance from the food safety officer said food can be stored above 8 degrees for up to 4 hours and therefore should be okay without ice packs (eg. all eaten by lunch). We've had a child bite into a liquid ice pack so I wanted to give parents the option not to use them but I don't want to do this if clashes with other regulations!!!

 

 

I personally think it's all a minefield - who knows when the lunch was actually made? Some busy mums/dads do it the night before! Common sense must prevail at all times. The Food Safety course people we had usually taught restaurant staff about food safety - let's just keep things in perspective - I haven't had any child injured or poisoned by bringing a packed lunch in as yet.

 

I think using foods to freeze to act as the cooling device is a good idea and should certainly do the trick.

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We were advised by EH to simply advise parents on how to pack a suitable safe lunch, and on no account to start refrigerating contents.

She told us that once we started to 'take control' of lunch box storage- should a child fall ill we could be found libel[not sure that's the correct word], whereas it is the parents full responsbilty to provide a safe lunch. She also said that due to the short-time before they are eaten they are very low risk.......unless not prepared correctly!

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