Tailgate Cooler Packing Tips
Like a scene from a horror flick, your homemade ham salad or crowd-pleasing casserole could come back to haunt you--and everyone else at your tailgate party--if you don't practice safe food storage. Follow our easy advice to prevent a real-life disaster.
Whether you're tailgating, hiking, camping, or just planning a picnic, these food guidelines always apply.
- Reserve the bottom of the cooler for colder foods.
- Store salads, spreads, and dips in tightly sealed containers.
- Pack hamburger, hot dogs, and other meats separately in individual zip-top plastic freezer bags.
- Fill your cooler with plenty of ice, or use ice packs and frozen bottles of water. If traveling a long distance, consider taping the cooler lid with sturdy tape for a tighter seal.
- Keep cooked and raw foods in separate containers. If you plan to cook on-site, make sure you pack additional clean plates. Never place produce or cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat.
- Follow the one-hour rule: Foods that need refrigeration should not sit out longer than one hour.