Friday, July 17, 2009

Take Bug Spray, Not Germs to Camp

Now it’s time for summer activities and day camps. Children from across the country will participate in swimming, arts and crafts, field trips and fun adventures with old and new friends. Instead of books and pencils parents will help children assemble sun block, towels and bag lunches, items needed for fun days in the sun. Remember that harmful bacteria grow quickly in the Temperature Danger Zone, those temperatures between 40 and 140°F. It is important to keep perishable lunches safe for day campers and kids on summer excursions. Use these three recommendations for safe summer lunches; keep everything used to prepare lunches clean, keep food cold, pack the right amount of food. Keep everything clean begins with hands. Wash your hands before you prepare or eat food. As state earlier, harmful bacteria strive in warmer temperatures. Perishable food carried to camp without an ice source won’t stay safe very long. These foods should not be left out at room temperature more than 2 hours. When temperatures are above 90°F food should be placed in cold storage within one hour. Many families choose to send prepackaged combos that contain luncheon meats along with crackers, cheese, and condiments. The prepackaged combos are convenient, but they must remain cold to stay safe. Prepare cooked food, such as turkey, ham, chicken and vegetable or pasta salads, ahead of time to allow for thorough chilling in the refrigerator. Keep cooked food refrigerated until time to leave home. To keep lunches cold away from home, include a small frozen gel pack or frozen juice box. Some foods don’t have to stay cold to stay safe. Foods that are safe without refrigeration include whole fruits and vegetables, hard cheese, chips, bread, crackers, peanut butter and jelly, mustard and pickles. Pack just the amount of perishable food that can be eaten at lunch. That way, there won’t be a problem about the storage or safety of leftovers. For kids, camp lunch time is a social time. There’s usually more interest in friends than food, but parents should still provide health-promoting foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, and dairy products. Make summer lunches, fun, healthy and most of all safe.

1 comment:

Ed Harris said...

Great tips. Too bad we couldn't do anything about the skunk that s[rayed our son last week!

Oh well...I think the smell is almost gone!