The lunch box is a good thing which prevents sandwiches from getting squished in school bags among books and pencil cases. But the lunch box can be hazardous, causing potential food safety problems that could turn your well prepared school lunch into a dose of food poisoning. For there are seven different plastic types of code, only one of which can be heated in a microwave oven.
Number 1(PET): This kind of plastic product can withstand heat as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit, heating the lunch boxes made from PET plastic product can make the lunch boxes out of shape and discharge carcinogen.
Number 2(HDPE): HDPE plastics are used to make food wrap.
Number 3(PVC): This kind of plastic products is seldom used for food wrap, but for packing film, credit cards, water containers and water pipes. The toxic chemicals together with food enter the body, which could cause breast cancer, congenital malformation and other diseases.
Number 4(LDPE): This kind of plastic product is used for cling film, plastic bags, flexible containers and food wrap. The LDPE can withstand heat as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature is over, the plastic would discharge toxic substance.
Number 5(PP): Among all those plastic products, only PP can be heated in a microwave oven. The polypropylene can withstand heat as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit. So when we choose the plastic products, if we find there is “5” signal at the bottom of the triangle, then we can heat this kind of plastic products in a microwave oven.
Number 6(PS): PS plastic products are used for disposalbe hot or cold drink cups and plates, fast food clamshells, dairy product containers. But we shouldn’t cook cup noodles in a microwave oven, becuase overheat could discharge polystyrene, which could cause cancer.
Number 7(PC): All other resins and multi-materials could be used for a kettle, cup or baby’s bottle. When PC resins are heated, it would discharge toxic bisphenol A which would cause cancer and metabolic disorder, generating obesity, or lead to sexual precocity.
Then let me tell you several tips while using plastic lunch boxes.
Don’t use plastic lunch boxes to heat high sugary food,high oil food or infant food. Heat under 700w.
When we use a microwave oven to heat roasted chicken or red braised pork in a plastic lunch box, the lunch box would be easily out of shape. Because the polypropylene lunch box can withstand heat as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit, in addition, after heated greasy meat food can easily exceed this temperature. So when wen heat meat food or high sugary food we had better contain food in the porcelain or glassware. If you want to use plastic lunch box, please only heat soup or watery food. If food wraps are made from plastic products, so we shouldn’t put greasy food or infant food in a microwave oven to heat. According to normal standards, we had better heat food under 700w.
Plastic products also have an expiration date. If you use it too frequently, we had better throw it away in one or two years.
Most plastic products such as basins, storage baskets and other daily goods, only have a production date label, have no expiration date label. Many consumers don’t know how to define expiration date for plastic products. Actually plastic products have an expiration date. After the expration date, the plastic products would be aging, even discoloration. If you find used plastic boxes turn yellow or no longer transparent, you should replace it as soon as possible. If plastic lunch boxes are used for a long time, there will be rough and uneven in surface, and the lost plastic products could be eaten. At the same time, aging plastic products may discharge harmful substance. As the answer to how long a plastic lunch box can be used mostly depends on personal use and cleaning method. Mostly plastic products will be expired after in three or five years. If they are used frequently, plastic products should be replaced in one or two years.
Bringing your lunch to work, or preparing lunches for your children to take to school, means food can go unrefrigerated for extended periods of time. This gives bacteria a chance to grow and multiply, thus increasing the risk of food poisoning.
Here are some food safety tips to keep in mind when preparing box lunches.
1. Avoiding taking seafood. For these seafood is poor in resisting bacteria, also easy to produce nitrite.
2. Don’t bring too much large leafy vegetables. After heated, these vegetables would’t look good and have lost many kindes of vitamins. So at night after work, you can choose to eat more green vegetables to make up for the day.
3. Broccoli, eggplant, melon, carrot, black fungus, mushroom etc. are the first choices for you to bring lunch. Even reheated, these food ingredients wouldn’t be easily loose lots of nutrients.
4.Also you cna bring some fresh vegetables which can be eaten when they are raw such as cucumber, tomato, apple, peach etc. They have the effect on vitamin supplements and anti cancer.
5. If you bring meat, you need to heat those meat for a longer time to kill the bacteria. Also remember don’t eat cold meat in case they hurt your stomach.
6.Put your food into a lunch box to keep the maximum freshness. Also don’t open the lunch boxes midway.