With football season upon us, so is the season of tailgating, and Texans especially need to be mindful of a few safety precautions when grilling and spending time outdoors—reported cases of food poisoning peak during warm weather, and maintaining food safety can be tricky when operating out of the trunk of a car when outside temperatures are high. Here is some advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), celebrating National Food Safety Month in September:
- Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood separated from other food items, through containers or plastic bags.
- Keep meat, poultry and seafood refrigerated until ready to grill (i.e. below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in an insulated cooler).
- Use a food thermometer to ensure meat is cooked hot enough to kill harmful germs, which can vary from 145 degrees Fahrenheit to 165 degrees Fahrenheit depending on what you’re cooking.
- Refrigerate leftovers into small portions and place in covered, shallow containers. Put in freezer or fridge within two hours of cooking, one hour if above 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside (i.e. if you’re heading straight from tailgating into a football game, you’ll probably need to replenish the ice in your cooler!).
In addition, the Richardson Health Department reminds everyone that protection from mosquitoes should also be kept in mind when tailgating at evening football games, including wearing insect repellent containing DEET.
For more information about game day food safety and safe grilling practices, click here. For more information about mosquito control, visit www.cor.net/mosquito.