Tailgate Parties: Top Food and Grilling Safety TipsBy Pauline Hammerbeck October 05, 2012 | 10:00 AMPosted in: Family, Personal Safety
they’re typically lively all-day outdoor events, tailgate parties can have some
unintended consequences. Prevent yours from taking the wrong turn with these
grilling and food safety tips:
1. Clean. Sideline bacteria by starting
with a clean, germ-free surface; think wet wipes and hand sanitizer. Food preparation
is also important: When assembling foods for the tailgate party, for instance,
pack uncooked meats separately from dips, salads and snacks to avoid
cross-contamination. Wrap uncooked meats in plastic, and then seal the meat
within a zip lock bag to prevent juice from dripping.
2. Line up. Safety
precautions when grilling are key. Keep your grill steady by keeping it a safe distance from the tailgate
party goers. You should also station it
away from cars and in an open, well-ventilated area to prevent carbon
monoxide fumes from building.
3. Cook. Turn up the heat while grilling.
Use an instant-read food thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of
your meats. Cook steaks to at least 145-degrees; ground meat to 160-degrees;
and chicken and pork to 180-degrees. Serve grilled meats immediately. And never
touch cooked foods with the same utensils you used to prepare raw meat.
4. Defend. Prevent bacteria contamination by
promptly packing away cooked meats, mayo-based salads, and dairy products, and
keep leftovers on ice. If you can’t keep leftovers cool, play it safe and toss
them out to prevent the temptation to munch on what could be bacteria-laden
5. Hydrate. Stay hydrated by alternating any
alcoholic beverages with water. And keep beverages in a separate cooler from
foods: Since guests frequently open the drink cooler, the ice will melt faster,
raising the temperature (perishables need better temperature regulation). And
it bears saying this for your personal
safety: if you’re going to consume an alcoholic beverage, always
designate a safe driver.
6. Clean Up. Create a “neutral zone” for trash
and food disposal, and toss leftover meat marinades, plastic cups, paper plates
and uneaten foods as you go. Be sure to let coals cool before disposing of them
in a metal container (look for designated bins). And, when packing up after the
tailgate, be sure that the grill, coolers, table, chairs and tent do not block
your rear window so that you can drive away safely.
are your favorite tailgating safety tips?
Pauline Hammerbeck is an editor for The Allstate Blog, which helps people prepare for the
unpredictability of life.
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