Summer is coming to an end, school is about to start again, and the weather is going from warm to cool. For many that can mean only one thing. It’s Football season! When many think of football, they also think of another beloved pastime, the tailgate party. Whether you plan or attend the tailgate party, for many it’s the best part of football season. The game, friendships, fun, and the food. But as with any good thing, they also come with a few risks. Food poisoning can quickly take your day of fun and turn it into a day of misery.
Practice Food Safety To Avoid Being Sidelined
Each year millions of people fall ill due to food poisoning. This occurs after consuming foods that are contaminated during preparation. A few tips to help keep your tailgate party on track.
Thaw Food Properly.
When thawing food, outer sections warm up faster than inner sections. This can cause microorganisms to grow. Thaw food out in the refrigerator or under running water. Only that foods in the microwave that will be cooked immediately.
Preparing Food Safely.
Prevent cross contaminating foods by washing hands using hot, soapy water before handling foods and between touching different types of foods. Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and already prepared/cooked foods. Clean all food surfaces and equipment after each task, especially when handling raw foods.
Cook to Proper Temperatures.
Use a food thermometer to make sure meats, chicken, turkey, fish and casseroles are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
- Roasts and steaks should be cooked to at least 145 degrees F.
- Ground meat should be cooked to at least 160 degrees F.
- Whole chicken or turkey should be cooked to 180 degrees F.
Cooling and Reheating Food.
Refrigerate or freeze prepared food and leftovers within two hours. To properly reheat food, it must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F for at least 15 seconds.
If You Are Traveling With Food
If you are traveling with food make sure to be prepared and bring along anything extra you may need.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
- Keep everything clean. When transporting raw meat, double wrap or double bag the products. Bring disposable wipes or paper towels to wipe down working surfaces, utensils and hands.
By taking some extra steps you can ensure that you have a great tailgate party experience. We want to make sure you and your loved ones are protected. We are here for all of your auto, home, life and health needs.
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