Food Safety Issues/Hot food kept in a flask

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Question
QUESTION: Hi,
My son has a wheat & dairy free diet. I'm wondering whether it would be safe to make instant RICE noodles in a food flask at 8am for him to eat as late as 1pm?  If not, do you have any suggestions for other wheat & dairy free foods that would be safe?  Oats made with hot almond milk maybe?
Thanks

ANSWER: Hi Denise,

It would be safe to make any hot food that is both wheat and dairy free and place in a hot thermos (that's we call them in the US) that would keep the noodles at 135 degrees F or above for 5-6 hours.

You can temper the thermos by putting boiling water in it while you are making the noodles.  Empty the boiling water and replace with the hot noodles.  By tempering the flask you are preparing it to hold a hot food and it will keep the food hot longer.

For wheat and dairy free recipes, check out these websites:

http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2008/09/gluten-free-casein-free-recipe-ind

https://www.pinterest.com/mkpecc/wheat-dairy-free-recipes/

https://simplygluten-free.com/gluten-free-recipes/dairy-free-main-dishes

http://www.thesensitivepantry.com/

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipes/tag-5478/gluten-free-dairy-free-recipes.aspx


Carol

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you, that's very helpful :-)
I was concerned about rice.  The thermos we have is made by Thermos but not sure how hot it keeps things.  It says that food will stay hot for 7 hours on the label, but no indication of temperature.  
Is there anything I should avoid putting in or anything that is less safe than others?
Thanks
Denise

Answer
Hi Denise,

I would do a little experiment to determine how long and what temperature hot food is being held in your thermos.

First -- temper the thermos with boiling water while you make some hot rice.

Second -- place the hot rice in the thermos and take the temperature.  The temperature of the rice should be well above 135 degrees F (probably more like 180 degrees).

Third -- close up the thermos and decide at what time interval you want to start taking temperatures. Since your son will be holding the food for 5 hours before consuming, I would let the thermos sit for 5 hours and then open it up and take the temperature. Hopefully the temperature is still above 135 degrees F -- the temperature all hot foods that require temperature control for safety should be held.  If the rice is still above 135 then you know your thermos is keeping food hot.

Fourth -- if the thermos holds the food above 135 for 5 hours then it would be safe to put any food that should be kept hot for safety -- chicken, beef, etc. The key will be having the thermos tempered with boiling water and the food very, very hot when you place it in the thermos.

Good luck.

Carol

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Carol Schlitt

Expertise

I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.

Experience

I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc - www.safeandsavorysolution.com

Organizations
National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

Education/Credentials
BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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