A New Zealand mum has warned parents of the muck that could be lurking in their kids’ lunchboxes, after discovering an entire science project growing her child’s bento-style container.
Grace Bollen took to Facebook to reveal what she found after prising open the lunchbox, saying she was ‘absolutely appalled’.
“Today, something in me prompted me to pry open the glue in the kids’ lunchboxes,” she commented on her post. “I saw a little black spot in the corners while washing. This is what I found. I’m absolutely appalled. I feel awful that my children have been eating lunch out of these.
“The children’s lunchboxes have been hand washed each night and left open to dry. Blue lunch box has been used for around 9 months. Yellow for about 12 months.”
She advised other parents to avoid buying lunchboxes that can’t be pulled apart for thorough cleaning.
“I have been in touch with both the companies. Stuck On You and LunchBox Inc and they are working to rectify the problem with the manufacturers and make them watertight. Please check with your supplier if there are any issues with yours. Tip: you can hold up the lighter ones to the light and the mould shows through.”
Both of the companies that Grace purchased the lunchboxes from have responded, assuring customers they are investigating the issue.
LunchBox Inc. says it’s dismayed by the images. “The company can assure you it has been working hard to investigate these matters since they came to our attention this week, to discover the extent of these issues, and communicate with the manufacturer so that we can determine how we can best advise customers and also help those whose lunch boxes may be affected.
“LunchBox Inc is a small New Zealand company who have been let down by our manufacturer in China, and are still waiting to hear from them at this time. The lunch boxes are manufactured overseas and imported by us into New Zealand. We have endeavoured to offer a product that would help parents create an easy and fun lunchbox which inspired healthy eating at school, and one which minimised plastic wrap waste. We are very disappointed to learn that some of our customers have been let down.”
Stuck On You says, “We were shocked to hear of her experience and we do not currently know how or why this has happened. The well-being of children is paramount to all of us here at Stuck On You and we are committed to the highest levels of compliance and safety. And we take our customer feedback very seriously.”
If you have a Stuck On You Bento Box, the company recommends you:
1. Wash the Bento Box as soon as possible after each use.
2. Remove the inner tray from the outer box and wash separately, using warm soapy water.
3. Only the inner tray should be washed in a dishwasher, however, handwashing is recommended.
4. Do not attempt to separate the silicon seal from the outer box.
5. Dry all parts of the Bento Box thoroughly with a clean cloth or paper towel.
6. It’s recommended that even once dry, the parts should be kept separate and stored in a well-ventilated area until ready to use again.
Make sure you read our stomach-churning article on the hidden dangers lurking in bath toys.