Keeping lunch box food safe

Find ways to make sure food packed in a lunch box stays safe to eat.

Food in lunch boxes can become unsafe to eat

When lunch boxes get hot, the food inside can become unsafe to eat. To keep lunch boxes safe:

  • have clean hands and utensils when making packed lunches
  • freeze drink bottles overnight for an instant ice block, or use a mini freezer pack for kids
  • keep perishable foods (like cold meats or egg sandwiches) safe by packing between cold items like yoghurt
  • stick coloured stars on foods that might spoil to make sure they're eaten first
  • wash lunch boxes well each day.

Children at school can help by:

  • keeping their lunch boxes out of the sun and heat
  • washing and drying their hands before eating.

How to wash and dry your hands

Find other food safety tips for the home

Who to contact

If you have questions about food safety at home, email info@mpi.govt.nz

Last reviewed: