Philippa Hudson and the safety of children’s lunchboxes

Posted on Wednesday, December 5 2012

Senior lecturer in Food Safety Philippa Hudson has been featured in several media outlets about her research looking at the safety of children’s lunchboxes.

Philippa and dissertation student Hannah Walley looked at the temperature of children’s lunchboxes at a school throughout the day and found that almost all of them reached potentially unsafe temperatures.

They also looked at the cleanliness of the lunchboxes and tested the insides for microbes.

The Bournemouth Echo newspaper did a full page feature on the research, and spoke to local mums about whether they worry about the temperature and cleanliness of their children’s lunchboxes.

Parenting website Netmums also focused on the findings of the research – asking parents whether they thought schools should do more to keep lunchboxes at cool temperatures.

Philippa appeared on Katie Martin’s afternoon show on BBC Radio Solent and Wessex FM.

In interviews, Philippa said that the idea for the research came from her own son’s lunchbox.

“I became interested in the nature of the contamination of the general gunk that was in his lunchbox and what the microbiological and food safety implication of that might be.”

She added the type of lunchbox used was important.

“The rigid sort are much easier to clean because you can put them in a dishwasher or can immerse them in a bowl of hot, soapy water when you are doing the washing up and you can give them a jolly good wash.

“The sorts of lunchboxes that gave me cause for concern and the sort that I was buying for my son was the fabric sortย…they always say, do not immerse in water, wash with a damp cloth, and if that is what you are doing and it is a dishcloth you’re using, you run the risk of potentially contaminating that surface.”