Brown Bag School Lunch Myths

Dan Education, General

Fruit, sandwiches and buns in a brown bagCathy Isom fills us in on what the food safety experts say about some common myths for those so-called brown bag lunches. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

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Whether its going with your child to school, or with you to the office, here are some things you may want to know about that brown bag lunch you’re carrying. USDA Expert Marianne Gravely joined us to unravel 3 common myths about food safety.

slices of delicious hamFirst myth. If the meat or poultry you’re using has been cooked or comes out of a vacuum pack of lunch meat it doesn’t need to be kept cold to prevent bacteria buildup.


Chances are it may not have any bacteria in it at first…

“But there’s bacteria on your hands, there’s bacteria in the air so even if you unpack something that is completely sterile just in handling it you can add bacteria to it.”

Another myth. Meats are really the only thing you have to worry about.


Gravely says even sliced fruit can be a problem if not kept cold.

“Because once you cut into an apple for example then its susceptible to bacteria.”

Myth number three. Mayonnaise is the culprit in a lot of food poisoning cases.

Pouring mayonnaise on sandwich with meat, cheese and vegetablesNo!

In fact, its acid content can deter bacteria. But not a myth the advice to keep that lunch very cold from the time its packed by including one of these in your lunchbox or bag.

“One can be a frozen box of juice or water bottle and the other one of those gel packs”

until your child or yourself eats it hours later.