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“Tailgating” originally meant to eat a picnic on the tailgate of your vehicle, but today the tailgate party has gone way beyond that to a pre-game feast at the stadium.
Karen Blakeslee – rapid response coordinator for Kansas State University Research and Extension – is a veteran tailgater and food safety expert who shares her tailgate food safety tips with us.
Divvy up the Menu Wisely
[pullquote]Divide expenses rather than menu items to keep it fair & safe[/pullquote]If you have people coming from out of town to join you in cheering on your team, ask them to bring non-perishable items. Locals can be responsible for anything refrigerated to keep food safe.This can mean that some guests spend more than others, so to keep things fair add up expenses and divide it equally among all tailgaters.
Keep Cold Food Cold, Hot Food Hot
[pullquote]Prepare food ahead of time and keep at proper temperature until game day[/pullquote]To keep tailgating easy, prepare as much food ahead of time as possible. Pasta, potato or a meat salad can be prepared the day before and refrigerated until game day and placed in an ice chest. Slice and prepare any toppings for walking tacos, burgers or hot dogs in tinfoil serving dishes. Sloppy Joe mixture, soups or stews can be kept hot in a stockpot on a camp stove or grill.
How to Turn a Cooler into a Warming Oven
Use Multiple Ice Chests
[pullquote]Keep meat in separate cooler from beverages[/pullquote]Use one cooler for cold beverages because it will be opened the most often, another cooler for raw meat for the grill, and a separate cooler for prepared food. Each time a cooler is opened the temperature inside can change. (You may want two beverage coolers – one for beer and another for sodas and water.)
Fill the Ice Chest
[pullquote]Freeze juiceboxes & water bottles[/pullquote]The temperature is constant in an ice chest that is filled rather than partially filled. It’s a good idea to freeze juice boxes and water bottles – they keep things cold and can be used as beverages later in the day. (Freeze water bottle with cap off or they may burst.) To keep the ice chest cold once you arrive, keep it out of the sunlight by sitting it in the shade of the car or table, under a tent, or cover it with a blanket.
How to Pack a Cooler
No Cross Contamination
Transport raw hamburgers, brats, steaks or other meat in a re-sealable, disposable storage bags to keep blood from leaking all over and to get rid of it as soon as it isn’t necessary.
Pack two sets of grilling utensils so you can use one with raw meat and another with cooked meat.
Color is not an indicator that meat is cooked. To be safe make sure burgers (and most other foods) reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Take disposable meat thermometers to check doneness.
Remember the 2 Hour Rule
Food should not be allowed to sit out for more than 2 hours – and if the temperature is above 90 degrees that drops to 1 hour.
Handwashing is the Most Important Rule But Most Difficult
[pullquote]Wash well & wash often[/pullquote]Pack alcohol-based hand sanitizers, moist towelettes, or a damp washcloth with soap in a re-sealable food storage bag if taking the family. For a large crowd set up a hand washing station using an empty laundry detergent bottle of soapy water and paper towels. Don’t forget to have a garbage can closeby.”Wash often and well before and after handling raw or cooked foods – even after tossing the football around,” Blakeslee said.
Information: Culinary.net via Family Features
Infographic “How to Pack a Cooler” from LBP Manufacturing Inc via Pinterest
Photo of Handwashing Station from Buzz Feed
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Once a week we'll tell you the upcoming daily celebrations & the articles you may have missed.