How do I safely prepare outdoor meals?

In order to ensure outdoor meals are safe for everyone:
  • Pack food in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or ice packs to keep the temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Transport coolers in the back seat of an air-conditioned car instead of the hot trunk.
  • Don't leave foods unrefrigerated for more than two hours. In hot weather (90 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer) don't leave food out more than one hour.
  • If you are grilling, tightly seal raw or thawed meat in plastic wrap for transport. This will prevent juices from contaminating other food items. Pack meat products in one cooler and additional foods in another.
  • Bring extra plates and cooking utensils -- one set for handling raw foods and another for cooked foods. This will help prevent cross-contamination.
If anyone applies bug spray, make sure they do it far away from the food and that they wash their hands before digging in.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.