(NC) - With so many glorious opportunities to get away this summer, you may be thinking of making a road trip to your favourite campground, picnic spot, or waterside beach.
Food is an important part of these getaways. But even though you've left your indoor kitchen behind, it is important to keep in mind all of the food safety rules you use indoors when cooking outside. After all, nothing can ruin a road trip like a foodborne illness.
Here are some simple things you can do to keep your family well fed and illness free on those wonderful weekend getaways:
Buy tightly wrapped packages of meat without tears or holes, to prevent leakage. Also consider purchasing pre-sliced products that easily divide into serving sizes, reducing the need to handle raw foods when you might not have proper access to water on your trip.
The roadside meat shop may look quaint, but keep food safety in mind when you buy. You're better off stocking up on meats with well-known brand names. In most cases, these products are inspected by the federal government and some companies such as Maple Leaf Foods, have made food safety a top priority.
Take two coolers. Avoid cross contamination in transit by keeping raw foods you don't intend to cook and foods that need to be cooked in separate coolers.
Keep your food cold. Your trunk is warmer than the inside of your air conditioned car so keep the coolers up front with you. Pack plenty of ice with your food and don't hesitate to restock the cooler with the ice along the way if your journey is a long one.
We now have access to a wide variety of pre-washed and packaged fruits and vegetables that make traveling with food easy. You can also select from an assortment of individually wrapped cheeses, wieners, and jerky that reduces leakage and keeps unused items fresh.
Use sanitizing hand wash or wipes when you don't have access to hot water for cleanup. Use them before preparing food, before handling cooked foods and before and after you eat.
Wondering if your leftovers are still edible when you get home? If there is still ice in the cooler when you get home, the leftovers should be okay to eat.