School lunch food safety

School lunches are on the buffet of N.Y. Times stories and columnist Jane E. Brody comes in with some somewhat contradictory advice.

Brody correctly notes that chances are you worry more about whether your children will eat the food in their lunch boxes than about whether that food will be safe to eat after spending hours unrefrigerated.

(Sorenne is 2.5-years-old and I’m having daily debriefing sessions with various teachers to figure out what she likes and doesn’t like. Yesterday I was told by three different teachers that Sorenne was hungry and I needed to do better. Today, below, featured yoghurt and frozen berries, the usual morning snack, a lunch of whole-wheat rotini covered with a tomato, chicken and capsicum (red pepper) sauce left over from dinner along with whole wheat bread and butter, and afternoon snacks of orange slices and watermelon.)

Brody says that just as it is unwise to consume at any time foods made with raw egg, undercooked poultry or ground meat, or unpasteurized milk, these absolutely should be avoided in a packed lunch. Also, all raw fish, and shellfish that can be safely consumed raw, must always be kept cold.

No, I won’t be sending any raw shellfish to school with Sorenne.