How long does food last in a thermos?

Because of thermoses, we may have our favorite leftovers or homemade soup for lunch, as well as preserve products like smoothies and yogurt parfaits cool!

When it comes to packing school lunches, many parents are concerned about the following questions: “how long can I keep my food hot in a thermos?” and “how long can food last in a thermos?”

To ensure that your food is safe to eat before lunchtime, let’s go over how to pack both hot and cold foods in a thermos container. We’ll start with cold foods because they’re the easiest to carry. We will also cover thermos for soup.

Unless the item sits at a temperature above 40F, you can bring milk, smoothies, or a yogurt parfait. Once your food is packed and sealed inside the thermos, you should put it into your lunch bag along with a freezer pack, which will keep the food cold for a few hours. Ta-da!

How long does food last in a thermos? and is it safe to eat anymore?

Since you cooked the food to a safe temperature and then heated it up until it was steaming, it is unlikely that the food in the thermos will go bad.

But because I care about you, I’ve done research on the right way to cook and store food so that you can safely pack hot lunches for your family! What I’ve learned is:

Bacteria grows faster between 40F and 140F, so perishable foods shouldn’t stay there for more than 3 hours. Hot foods should be heated to 212F, or “too hot to handle,” before being put in a thermos.

Thermoses need to be heated up before they can be filled. This step is often skipped, but it’s easy to do and worth it on cold winter days when you want to pack leftover Mac and Cheese or Chicken Alfredo.

How to Set Up and Use a Thermos (Warm Food)

  • Boil water 
  • At least 3/4 of the thermos should be full of boiling or hot water.
  • Close and seal the bag for at least 5 minutes.
  • Warm your food while the thermos heats up.
  • Once your food is done and you’ve waited the minimum 5 minutes, pour out the hot water, dry the inside, and put the hot food in the canister.
  • Close and seal it, and you’re good to go.

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