Are you making kids barf with the lunch you pack?

After a couple months in the sun, the Aussie kids are getting ready to go back to school, which means warnings from health types.

I’ve packed a lot of lunches over a lot of years and 5 daughters. Didn’t use ice packs. Did use a variety of cooler bags given out as swag at conferences that would keep things cool.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the NSW Food Authority examined the lunches of 766 Sydney primary school students. Didn’t say what they found. Awesome.

The Primary Industries Minister, Steve Whan, said warmer summer temperatures provided an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply but less than a third of lunchboxes – 29 per cent – surveyed were stored safely with an ice brick or frozen drink to keep food cool.

”It is essential that lunches are kept cool for school – sandwiches with meat or chicken can sit for up to five hours before kids eat them, so they can have much more bacteria if food is stored at room temperature. ‘On a very hot day that can be a recipe for food poisoning.”

In 2006 NSW Food Authority research found that lunches packed in paper bags were 12 degrees warmer than lunches packed with a frozen drink, the authority’s chief scientist, Lisa Szabo, said.

”I remember when I first started school it was a very exciting day, with so many new things to do, but the experience of food poisoning is not one of those things you want to have.”

Show us the data, or the sick people.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time