Did you know that as well is being a university qualified nutritionist I am also a food safety auditor and trainer!
I've been getting lots of questions recently about ice packs and if they are needed when the weather is cold.
The answer is YES absolutely if you are packing potentially hazardous foods in the lunchbox.
Potentially hazardous foods are usually protein or moisture rich foods, they are foods that bacteria thrive on. Common potentially hazardous foods we find in the lunchbox are meat, eggs, dairy and cooked pasta or rice.
In the temperature danger zone of between 5ﹾC and 60ﹾC bacteria will grow on these potentially hazardous foods. The longer they are in the temperature danger zone the more bacteria will multiply making the food a risk for food poisoning.
It’s a common misconception that if the weather is cold we don’t need to worry about keeping the lunchbox cold. This is only true if the weather is below 5ﹾC for the whole time the lunchbox is sitting out in it. For majority of us in Australia we still need an ice pack each day!
Now I have certainly done my research on the very best ice pack going around. My most favourite is the Montii Co ice pack. In the heat of a Brisbane summer it is still frozen at the end of the day! And because I rave about it so much Montii Co have given me a discount code to share with you all to get 10% off your total Montii Co order (I do receive a small commission from this).
Use code LBNutritionist for 10% off when you order here
So yes, if you are sending potentially hazardous food in the lunchbox you will need to keep it below 5ﹾC with a good quality ice pack in an insulated bag.