Media Release

September 5, 2012

Don’t let good lunches go bad

York Region offers tips to prevent food poisoning
The Regional Municipality of York reminds residents to follow four simple food preparation tips so that bringing lunch to work or school does not result in illness. 
Follow these simple tips to help keep your family healthy by minimizing the risk of food poisoning:
Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often; wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly
• Wash your hands and any cutting boards or counters before making lunch
• Wash all fresh fruit and vegetables under cool water, including those with peels and rinds
• Use food-grade containers and wraps to minimize potential contamination
• Ensure lunch bags and containers are clean and in good repair
• Wash out the interior of reusable lunch bags and drink bottles everyday
Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate

• Ensure lunches made ahead of time are stored in the refrigerator away from any raw meats
Cook: Cook food to a safe internal temperature

• Use a probe food thermometer to check the internal temperature of cooked food to ensure it has reached proper final cooking temperature - you can’t tell if food is cooked safely by how it looks
• If leftovers are being reheated for lunch, ensure they are heated to an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F) or hotter - leftovers should be used within two days of their original preparation date
• Keep cooked food hot for lunch by storing it at temperatures 60°C (140°F) or hotter ??" use a properly insulated thermal container and follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper use
• Never allow food to sit at temperatures in the Danger Zone - between 4°C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F)
Chill: Refrigerate promptly and cool foods quickly

• Store perishable meats and dairy products in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible
• Keep the refrigerator at 4°C (40°F) or below
• Use ample ice packs in lunch bags to ensure food is kept cold and out of the Danger Zone
• Discard leftover perishable food left in lunch bags for more than two hours if it has not been stored at temperatures 4°C (40°F) or colder
Common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, headache and fever. If you think you may be experiencing food-borne illness, seek medical attention.
For more information on this or any other health-related program, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or TTY 1-866-252-9933 or visit
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Media Contact: Lisa Sposito, Community and Health Services, The Regional Municipality of York
905-830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 4106  After-Hours Cell: 905-955-2533
The Regional Municipality of York provides services to 1.1 million residents and 41,000 businesses that employ 516,000 people

Founded in 1971, The Regional Municipality of York is made up of nine municipalities
and provides services to more than one million residents, 29,000 businesses and 495,000 employees.

 For more information visit us at Follow us on : York Region   @YorkRegionGovt  
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