Tailgating Food Safety Tips

Go Pats!

Or, Giants, Jets…your favorite college team. Here in New England, fall football is IT! The crisp fall air and clear blue skies are a perfect backdrop for the ever popular tailgating party. What a great way to spend time with family and friends in anticipation of the big game.
Tailgating – it’s Thanksgiving gone Cheerleader. From slow smoked pork ribs and craft beer to stuffed mushrooms and steak, the food is as good as the company. But, what about food safety? If you’re like most, that food needs to keep a pretty long time to be safe.

Here’s our Tailgating Food Safety Tips

Courtesy of HealthDay, Robert Preidt, October 2013

Foods Safe and Not So Safe

Some foods are almost always safe, including dry foods, those high in sugar, breads, rolls, cakes (without cream filling), fresh fruits and vegetables, cookies, and crackers, said Dianne Killebrew, a registered dietitian and certified health and wellness coach at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. Other foods require more care. These include not only obvious items such as meat, eggs, poultry, fish, milk products, slaw, and pasta or potato salad, but also foods you might not think about, such as sliced melons, sliced tomatoes, potatoes, rice and tofu.


Marinate meat in the refrigerator prior to traveling and keep it chilled in a cooler until you grill it, Killebrew said. When transporting raw meat, tightly seal it in plastic wrap or zip bags to prevent juices from contaminating other food in your cooler. When you take food off the grill, put it on a clean platter — not back on the same one it was on when raw.

Cook ground beef, pork, lamb and veal to 160 degrees, and poultry to 165 degrees. Keep hot foods above 140 degrees. Cook only the amount of meat that will be eaten to avoid having to deal with keeping leftovers at a safe temperature.

Keeping It Chilled

Keep cold foods in a cooler with plenty of ice, icepacks or frozen gel packs, and check that food is at 41 degrees or lower using a thermometer, Killebrew said. Throw out perishable food items before you enter the stadium. Food should not be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours, or one hour in hot weather.

Don’t Forget Your Hands

Bring waterless hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean, as well as paper towels and disposable cloths or moist towelettes to clean surfaces.

Article: Tailgating Tips for Food Safety
By: Robert Preidt, Oct 11, 2013 – HealthDay
Link: healthyliving.msn.com/nutrition/tailgating-tips-for-food-safety

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