Tailgating and football go hand in hand. Tailgating literally means serving food and drink from the tailgate of a car or truck. These pre-game parties often involve salads, sandwiches, and grilling food. The following tips can help protect you and your guests from food poisoning by keeping your food safe to eat.
Bring a thermometer with you so you can monitor your cooler’s temperature and make sure you cook your grilled foods to the right internal temperature.
Keep perishable foods (cheese, cold cuts, salads, sandwiches) in an insulated cooler with ice or ice packs at 40 degrees F or colder.
Keep raw meat for the grill in leakproof packing, separated from perishable foods, in an insulated cooler with ice or ice packs at 40 degrees F or colder.
Keep beverages in a separate cooler. This way you won’t be opening and closing the coolers that contain your perishable foods and raw meats.
If your food remains in temperatures between 41-140 degrees F for more than 2 hours, throw it out!
Remember to use your thermometer to check the internal temperature of grilled meat. Check the temperature in the thickest part of the meat.
- Ground beef, pork or lamb cooked to 160 degrees F.
- Poultry (whole, ground, parts) cooked to 165 degrees F.
- Whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, veal cooked to 145 degrees F.
- Hot dogs and bratwursts cooked to 165 degrees F.
Following these food safety tips can go a long way toward keeping your celebration full of fun and free of trouble.