Remember to wash your hands with warm, soapy water or use moist towelettes before and after handling food. Hand washing ensures everyone is safe. Wash and pre-cut your produce or fruit at home and place in storage bags, so you can grab and go. Make sure there are plenty of dishes to hold your cooked food and never reuse the dish that raw meats or vegetables were in prior to cooking.
Prepare as much food as you can at home. Shape hamburger patties and place in storage bags the night before. Remember to bring a food thermometer to ensure foods are cooked thoroughly. Cook your hamburgers and steaks to 160°F; poultry parts to 165°F and pork to 160°F, steaks should be cooked to at least 145ºF.
Make sure your storage bags and containers are sealed properly so raw meat and poultry do not leak juices on fruits, vegetables, and cooked foods. Always place cooked foods in clean containers or plates. Do not reuse marinades that were on raw meat and chicken to put on cooked foods, you will end up increasing your chances of food borne illness.
Use two ice chests, one for your beverages and the other for foods. Remove from your ice chest only the amount of food that will fit on the grill. Make sure to return leftovers to the cooler within two hours of serving or one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees. Always pack dips, condiments and spreads separately where you add before eating. Remember the temperature danger zone 40-140°F where foods held at these temperatures bacteria will multiply rapidly. Try to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold to be safe from food poisoning.
Following all these tips will ensure you have a safe game day free of food poisoning.
For more information contact Mandy G. Armentor, MS, RD, LDN, Assoc. Extension Agent (FCS-Nutrition), in the Vermilion Parish LSU AgCenter Office at 1105 W. Port St. in Abbeville or call 898-4335.