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How To Make Sure Your Child’s School Lunch Stays At The Right Temperature Hours After You Pack It

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah moms and dads will soon be back to making school lunches. How can you make sure those lunches stay at the right temperature during the morning so your kids will not get sick?

In order to keep food safe, lunchboxes need to keep food below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if they have perishable items like the mayonnaise on a sandwich or a cup of yogurt.

KSL bought four lunch boxes, each with different features.

The PackIt lunch box comes with freezable gel inside the front and back liner. The Jurassic World lunch box by Ring Container Technologies features insulation. We also bought a Fit and Fresh Bento Lunch Kit that has a gel inside the lid you can freeze the night before. We also purchased an Arctic Zone lunch box that comes with its own ice pack, water bottle and sealable plastic food container.

We made the same lunch for each box: a ham sandwich with mayo, yogurt, chips and juice. Then we waited four hours.

Not a single one passed the lunch box test. All clocked in above the safe 40 degree mark. The PackIt lunch box kept the food the coolest. The yogurt measured 55 degrees while the sandwich was 54 degrees.

Our test found the worst performer was the Bento Box.  The sandwich in that lunch box warmed up to 66 degrees during those four hours.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through its website,, has recommendations to help keep school lunches cool.

Make everything the night before and keep it in the fridge so the food starts out at the right temperature. Also, freeze your juice pack and add an ice pack to keep things cool.

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