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Food Safety While Camping

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Camping Food!The best part of camping is the food….right? I enjoy cooking some of my favorite dishes and especially trying a new recipe in my Dutch Oven. But, getting the food to camp and making sure it stays fresh without any hassles or ill affects can be a challenge that can easily be remedied if you keep a few things in mind.

While transporting the food consider this:

  • Keep cold food cold, at or below 40°F. Make up a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs, just for food and one just for drinks. This way every time you reach for a drink you aren’t going to affect the meat you have packed for dinner.
  • If possible, pack meat, poultry, and seafood while it’s still frozen so that it stays cold longer. Always keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separately wrapped (I prefer ziplock bags) so their juices don’t contaminate cooked foods or other foods in the cooler, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep the food cooler in the air conditioned passenger compartment of your car, not in the hot trunk. And try to reduce the number of times you open the cooler.

Once at the campsite and you’re getting ready to prepare one of your delicious meals…remember:

  • Wash your hands! Ya..I know, I sound like your Mom. But I know how difficult it can be to get some water, soap and wash your hands when your camping. Have someone pour the water jug over you hands, use some soap and towel off. If water is at a premium you can use anti-bacterial hand wipes. :-)
  • While “prepping” the food, keep all utensils and platters clean. All the things you would normally do at home…right? I know! I even forget sometimes in a camping setting.

If you’re grilling, here’s a few more things to consider:

  • I like to marinate and will put the meat in ziplock bags with the marinate right into the cooler. Any marinate I want to use as a sauce I put in another separate bag.
  • When grilling make sure everything is cooked. Sometimes when I grill over a fire, not a BBQ, I have to watch that some of the food doesn’t get under-cooked because the fire is not burning evenly.

Above all, enjoy your food. There’s something that happens to food when you cook it outdoors at a campout. It just seems to bring out all the natural flavors. I can taste them now, can you?

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4 Comments »

  1. Nanette said,

    August 9, 2007 @ 1:00 pm

    Good advice! I especially the part about trying to open the cooler as few times a s possible. I always keep two separate coolers for that reason; one for food and on efor drinks.

  2. Deborah Dowd said,

    August 20, 2007 @ 4:11 am

    Another invaluable thing when we go camping is that we use a heavy duty palstic tablecloth, and I take the antibacterial kitchen wipes and wipe down surfaces. Easier than soap and water and cleaner than a sponge.

  3. sqdirect » Blog Archive » Food Safety While Camping said,

    October 25, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

    […] here to […]

  4. Hiking Guy said,

    April 29, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    Some really good advice! Ziplock bags serve many purposes.

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