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      Back to School Germs: Sanitize Bacteria from Lunch Boxes

      Franque ThompsonOMAHA (KPTM)- Parents have enough to worry about now that it's back to school time, but now they have something else to worry aboutbacteria growing in lunch boxes.Crumbs and spills fall into lunch boxes and if they aren't cleaned every day, health experts said, underneath the stains, the inside is probably filled with bacteria."We definitely recommend that after each time you send the kiddos with insulated lunch boxes, when they come home you take all the food out and you need to clean and sanitize them," said health expert, Carrie Miller, of the University of Nebraska. She continued, "It gets in contact with the children's hands and then they go to touch the food and eat the food, or if the food that was put in the lunch box is touching that bacteria, when they go to eat it they're consuming that. And that can make them sick and they'll have food borne illness, which if you've ever had it, you don't want to have it again. It's flu like symptoms," said Miller.To avoid grime and bacteria from building up, Miller said to use a disinfecting wipe to clean it."Let it sit for 30 seconds to actually sanitize it. And then you want to rinse that off with water because you don't want that chemical there too. so that's an extra step that a lot of people don't think about," she said.The lunch room is a busy place, as children are constantly in and out of the room every day. Health experts suggest packing a small bottle of hand sanitizer in the lunch box just in case the child isn't able to wash their hands. They also said adding a sheet of wax paper inside the lunch box. The wax paper will give the child a clean surface to eat on and not have to worry about all the germs on the table. Health experts said parents should also clean out hard plastic lunch boxes every day. That can easily be done by throwing them in the dish washer.fthompson@kptm.com
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