Kids Food Safety: Packed Lunches
It depends on what's in those lunches and how they're prepared. Some foods such as meats, poultry, eggs, seafood and cheeses can become hazardous because they support the growth of bacteria that can cause illness. For proper kids' food safety, lunches that include any of these ingredients, as well as any lunches made from leftovers, must be refrigerated until they are eaten.
If proper refrigeration isn't available, lunches should be made using foods that don't promote the growth of bacteria.
If a lunch item such as a sandwich is made with ingredients that can be frozen, freezing it overnight and placing it in a bag or insulated container in the morning will allow it to remain safe until lunchtime without refrigeration.
If a lunch includes hot foods such as soups, these should be kept hot by using an insulated thermos-type container. Lunches should never be temperature abused—left in a hot car or out in the sun for many hours before being eaten.