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Don't Let After-School Activities Take Food Safety Off The Menu: Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics Offers Food Safety Tips

CHICAGO, Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As children head back to school and families gear up for busy schedules packed with after-school activities, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages families to reduce their risk of food poisoning with food safety tips from the Home Food Safety program – a collaboration between the Academy and ConAgra Foods.

"Hectic after-school activities can leave students with little time to eat, let alone worry about food safety," said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Spokesperson Deborah Beauvais. "Whether reheating dinner or packing after-school snacks, set your student up for success with a few simple safety steps."

Reheating dinner"Between soccer practice, music lessons and other after-school activities, your children may be home late for dinner, and you may find yourself reheating dinner once, twice or even three times in an evening," Beauvais said. "If you're saving dinner for later, make sure you properly refrigerate and reheat the leftovers."

If you're saving dinner for latecomers, remember:

  • Leftovers should never sit at room temperature for longer than two hours.
  • Instead of leaving dinner on the stove before reheating, store it in the fridge (set at 40°F or below according to a refrigerator thermometer) until family members are home and ready to eat.
  • Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. A food thermometer is the only reliable way to ensure safety and determine the doneness of cooked foods.

Fueling up between school and after-school activitiesFor kids with activities directly after school, chances are they'll need a boost of nutrition before they begin practice and sport activities. Be sure to choose snacks that are still safe to eat at the end of the school day.

"As a general rule of thumb, foods should not sit out unrefrigerated for more than two hours; in hot weather, 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above, the time is reduced to one hour," Beauvais said.

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