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Everyday Tips For Using A Thermos

Everyday tips for using a thermos

From hot soups to cold smoothies, a thermos gives you lots of options to safely enjoy food and drinks when you are away from home. Here are some great ideas to get you started.

What should I put in my thermos? 

  • Use a thermos to pack foods that have some sauce or liquid like stew and soup. A thermos can only keep food hot or cold if it has some sauce or liquid.
  • Use a thermos to pack beverages that need to be kept hot like coffee or tea or cold like milk or 100% juice.  

How long can food (or drinks) be kept in a thermos? 

Check the instructions that come with your thermos to find out how many hours it will keep food safe to eat. Your food will only be safe to eat for this length of time if you have packed it steaming hot (at or above 74°C or 165°F) or cold (at or below 4°C or 40°F). Otherwise, harmful bacteria could grow making your food unsafe to eat. Tips:

  • Once a thermos is opened, any food not eaten should be thrown out.
  • If your thermos has not kept your food hot or cold, don’t eat it. Harmful bacteria have likely already started to grow and it’s not safe to eat, even if you re-heat it.  It’s best to throw it out and get a new thermos.

Packing cold food in your thermos  

  • Start with a clean thermos.
  • Follow everyday food safety practices.
  • Chill your thermos in the fridge or freezer.
  • You can also fill the thermos with ice and water. Put the lid on. Let it sit for a few minutes to cool then pour out the water.
  • Once the thermos is chilled, quickly add cold food or drink (at or below 4°C or 40°F) and put the lid on tightly.
  • To keep your food cold, pack your thermos just before leaving home.

Try:

Packing hot food in your thermos

  • Start with a clean thermos.
  • Follow everyday food safety practices.
  • Warm your thermos by filling it with boiling water. Put the lid on. Let it sit for a few minutes then pour out the water.
  • Once your thermos is warm, quickly add steaming hot food (at or above 74°C or 165°F) or boiling hot drinks and put the lid on tightly. The only way to be sure your food is hot enough is to use a thermometer.

Follow these tips if you are using a microwave to heat the food to pack into your thermos. To keep your food hot, pack your thermos with hot food just before leaving home. Young children should ask for help opening a thermos with hot food or drink to avoid burns.  Try:

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Last Update – April 26, 2017

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