College-age children who live within driving distance may come home fairly often on weekends and holidays, which can create a dilemma for parents who want to send home-cooked foods back to school with their child.
When drive times extend into hours, only proper handling can keep many foods safe from spoilage and pathogenic bacteria, according to K-State Research & Extension.
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has specific suggestions for this situation:
¢ Divide cooked foods into shallow containers and cool or freeze in the refrigerator prior to the trip.
¢ When your child is ready to leave, pack the cold containers of food in an insulated cooler with several inches of ice, frozen gel packs or containers of frozen water.
¢ Advise your child to refrigerate the foods as soon as he or she arrives at college.