Sharing meals with friends and family is one of the cornerstones of camping and RVing. There is something about the time spent outdoors that brings people together and when people come together, they bring food.
Summer temperatures can increase the risk of food-borne illnesses so extra care should be taken during these times. There are three primary times in which to practice caution with food. We’ll share some guidelines for transporting, preparing, and serving those delicious summer dishes.
Cold food must stay cold. It is recommended that you keep food temperature below 40°F. Use ice or freezer packs to keep food at the correct temperature.
Keep the cooler closed and pack it accordingly. Packing a separate cooler for drinks will reduce the number of times the lid is opened because each time this happens the air inside the cooler becomes warmer.
Raw meat should be wrapped and fruits & veggies washed. Keep raw meats from contaminating other foods by making sure they are securely wrapped before putting them in the cooler. Give fruits & veggies a good scrub before you pack them too.
Marinate Foods in the Refrigerator. Keeping meats cool until the time you plan to cook them is key. Marinade intended for dipping sauce should be from a separate batch, not from the marinade you kept the meat in.
Hot food must stay hot. Keep food on the warming side of the grill or use crock pots and warming trays to keep food from cooling down.
Cold food should be below 40°F and warm food should remain above 140°F in order to be safe to eat. This means those cold salads should not stay out more than two hours once served and placing them on a tray of ice is recommended. Hot food can be enclosed in a heat sealing container and should not be left out more than two hours as well.
These are just a few food safety tips to make your summer meals safe and enjoyable for everyone. You can learn more about safe food handling at Eating Outdoors, Handling Food Safely