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Old 02-03-2008, 10:21 PM   #1
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ISO non-perishable sandwich ideas

I need something I can take for lunch that does not require refrigeration.

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Old 02-04-2008, 01:29 AM   #2
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It really depends on what temperature the sandwich is going to be kept at.

There are insulated lunch boxes on available for purchase. These would keep your sandwich cooler, especially if you include a frezer block.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:32 AM   #3
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Temperature will be near room temperature.

I have tried to find an insulated lunch container but have been unable to find one small enough to fit in my bag.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:43 AM   #4
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Here is a list of foods that are safe for 4-6 hours at room temp: EB1490, Pack a Safe Lunch

Also, there's a blog about Japanese bento lunches that are held at room temp: Just Bento | meal in a box: healthy bento recipes, tips, and more

HTH.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:35 AM   #5
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I like that article GotGarlic - great ideas. I've never thought of freezing the sandwiches. I also thought all cheese would be unsafe.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:10 PM   #6
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I've been eating sandwiches for lunch for about 45 years now, from ham and cheese to mushroom cheesesteaks, to leftover Sunday dinner meats, to tuna salad, and I HAVE NEVER, EVER REFRIGERATED THEM!

I've kept them in a paper sack, I've left them in my car or in my locker at school, I've stored them in a briefcase and in my computer bag, and have never had a problem with them lasting at least 6 hours. Don't be so paranoid. EVERYTHING won't kill you!
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:18 PM   #7
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Caine - I can assume you didn't leave them in a HOT car, correct? And everything won't kill you - but it sure can make you VERY sick!

You can always buy one of those small freezer gel paks/containers and put it in a zip-lock bag. Stick that, along with your sandwich, in a paper bag - it should be fine.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:23 PM   #8
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Like Caine, I put just about ANYTHING on my sandwiches, have never refrigerated them, and never had a problem. Of course, I don't leave them lying in the sun, or in a hot car. But room temperature, definitely.

Oh, and cheese? We take cheese tramping many many times, and it lasts for days without a problem. The quality is compromised, but I don't think it's unsafe.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:27 PM   #9
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And if you pack it with a cold bottle of water or soda, it will help extend the bag life.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:42 PM   #10
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Once again, what is going on here is a discussion between good, safe food handling practices based on science verses anecdotal "evidence" by those who have followed unsafe practices and the risk just didn't show up. Yet.

I too spent my entire school career carrying potentially hazardous foods for lunch without refrigeration. And no I never got sick.

But I wouldn't let my daughter do that when she was going to school, and I wouldn't let my grand daughters either.

I also smoked in my teens. Then I learned it was unsafe and I quit. Same thing witrh seat belts.

Making a practice of doing what is safe is a total waste of time almost always. But in those few times when it does pay off, it can save your life, or the life of someone close to you.

And food safety takes so little effort compared to the downside of being wrong even once.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:02 PM   #11
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You took the words right out of my mouth mozart. I was going to say that I know lot of people who have driven for many years without a seatbelt and not been killed. It doesn't mean it was a safe or smart thing to do.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:32 PM   #12
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peanut butter and jelly ...
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:41 PM   #13
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You took the words right out of my mouth mozart. I was going to say that I know lot of people who have driven for many years without a seatbelt and not been killed. It doesn't mean it was a safe or smart thing to do.

Thanks, GB.

It is rare that I can beat you to a point

Frankly, even if it was safe, I never found room temperature tuna salad sandwiches all that appealing.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:46 PM   #14
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Peanut butter & jelly
Virtually any cheese - processed or not
Cured meats like salami, etc.
Pickled/jarred veggies like roasted peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, Italian vegetable salad, etc.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:22 PM   #15
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I would never tell anyone to do something they find uncomfortuable doing.

But yeah, the whole NYC public elementary school student body carried their lunches - no real cafeterias. We could get milk, but that was all the school had available. And we carried everything in our lunch bags.

As I recalll we only lost a kid or two a week because of the practice. Sarcasm off.

People cooked, cured, and smoked meats to preserve them. And gosh, cooking works.

People for many centuries have kept cooked meat, for example, at ambient temps and not suffered the ill effects with anything approaching regularity. Or they would not have done it.

This is not an anecdotal account.

Everything we do in live has risks. Driving a car fifty miles probably carries a greater risk than carrying a ham and cheese sammy with mustard to work at room temp.

You double the amount of radiation we get at sea level by living in the mountains or when flying. That is true. And most women are willing to get mammograms to find breast cancer, even though the procedure irradiates the breast. And that may be a promoter of cancer.

The concept is called relative risk. The idea is how much risk we are willing to take for any action.

It is a concept we don't usually think of. For example:

Most of us casually fly. And will drive 200 miles for a casual reason without thinking about the risk of serious accident or death.

But the threat of death is there. Let someone put together the relative risk of a ham and cheese sandwich left at room temp for four hours and I will decide if I will accept it. Right now I sure do.

My point, and I hate to make one, is that almost evrything we do carries risk. I used to see compilations of various activities that carried equal risks. And most folks would be shocked if they saw one.

We feel comfortable driving a car for several hundred miles but quake at the idea of a room temp sammy.

So please do not tell me I am taking a foolish risk. I accept if I wish to drive I am putting myself in danger. The percentage of SCUBA divers who die every year is far greater than the percentage of those who succumb to a four hour room temp baloney sandwich. And yet many folks do dive - I used to until my biology cut me off.

One should be prudent, but the concept of relative risk is real. And it is what level of concern does a person have about any of his/her actions.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:36 PM   #16
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People for many centuries have kept cooked meat, for example, at ambient temps and not suffered the ill effects with anything approaching regularity. Or they would not have done it.
Sorry, but this is faulty logic. People for centuries have gotten sick from meats left out at room temp. More people have died of diarrhea than many other things. Guess what is a main symptom of many food illnesses? Thats right, diarrhea. That is just one of the many things that can happen from eating mishandled food.

Auntdot, people may not have realized that they were getting sick because of their food handling practices so the fact that they kept doing it does not mean they were not getting sick from it.

Lets look at life expectancies. How long did people live for the many centuries that you are talking about in your post? How long do they live now? Now I am not saying that this is solely because of food handling, but I can promise you that it does play a role.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:22 PM   #17
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The concept is called relative risk. The idea is how much risk we are willing to take for any action.
It isn't just about relative risk. It is also about the effort it takes to reduce the risk.

If I want to go to Michigan from here I have to take some form of transportation. There are relatively small risks I take on and they are pretty static and can't be reduced to a large degree.

But taking a sandwich to work presents opportunities to reduce the risk of that practice significantly with very little effort. The risk may be small, but it is made relatively larger by how little effort it takes to eliminate it.

Risks, logically, have to be cumulative. Go to Michigan and take an uncooled sandwich to work has to logically present more overall risk than just going to Michigan.

So if one lives her life ignoring all the everyday risks that can be easily eliminated, her relative risk is much higher than someone who looks for opportunities to reduce risk where practical.
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:12 PM   #18
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I like the idea of freezing the sandwiches!

Back to the subject...
Peanut butter and jelly, of course.
But how about peanut butter and honey...Peanut butter with sliced apples or bananas..or peanut butter and bacon?

Speaking of bacon, how about bacon and cheese...or cheese with fruit? I don't know if you could carry grapes, but you could certainly slip an apple or pear into your bag.

You can buy individual serving size cans of tuna, chicken or ham with easy open tab tops. Pick up some little plastic packages of condiments from the deli, and put bread or crackers in a ziplock. Voila...lunch.

Vegies like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, snow peas, sweet pepper strips, celery, etc, hold up very well, and you can bag up what you like. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt and buy one (or two) of those individual serving size cups of salad dressing from the deli for a dip...just in case you want something healthy to go with your sammy.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:06 AM   #19
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I like the idea of freezing the sandwiches!

Back to the subject...
Peanut butter and jelly, of course.
But how about peanut butter and honey...Peanut butter with sliced apples or bananas..or peanut butter and bacon?

Speaking of bacon, how about bacon and cheese...or cheese with fruit? I don't know if you could carry grapes, but you could certainly slip an apple or pear into your bag.
Is bacon that shelf stable?
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:13 AM   #20
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Is bacon that shelf stable?
I would think so...it's been cured and then cooked. It only has to last six hours or so.
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