Nothing can spoil an outdoor adventure faster than food-borne illness. When preparing for summer outings, follow these rules for food safety:
Plan your menu.
- If your outdoor adventure lasts longer than a day, decide what you're going to eat and how you're going to cook it.
- Lighten your load and carry only what you need. Pack small portions of dried pasta, rice, and baking mixes in plastic bags.
- Bring cold foods for the first day and pack non-perishable items such as peanut butter and tuna for the second day.
- Before hiking to a remote campsite, check with the park service to make sure campfires are allowed. If they're not, you'll need to pack a camp stove.
- Carry bottled or tap water for drinking and cooking. Otherwise, boil water or use water purification tablets to purify water from natural sources.
Pack it up.
- Pack foods in reverse order. The first foods packed should be the last foods used.
- However, pack raw meat or poultry below ready-to-eat foods to prevent
Keep food cold.
- Store your ice chest in the air-conditioned passenger section, not the trunk.
- At the campsite or on the boat, insulate your cooler with a blanket or tarp.
- If hiking, pack frozen gel packs or boxed drinks to keep your meal cold.
- When the trip is over, discard leftover perishable food if the ice in your cooler has melted or the gel packs are no longer frozen.
Cook it completely.
- Use a meat thermometer to determine when food is done and safe to eat.
- Steaks should cook to 155 degrees F, and ground beef should have an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
- Chicken breasts should be cooked to 170 degrees F; legs and thighs to 180 degrees F.
- Pork should be cooked to 160 degrees F.
Keep it clean.
- Bring disposable wipes to wash hands and dishes.
- Double wrap raw meat or poultry with plastic bags to prevent juices from dripping on other