Tailgating Tips to Prevent Foodborn Illness

Posted on September 9, 2011

As you prepare for weekend football games and tailgates, keep these tips in mind to keep food contamination violations to a minimum:

  • Illegal use of hands: Wash your hands before and after eating food. Because finger foods are often tailgate fare, it’s important you provide your guests with sanitizing napkins (unless a sink is available nearby) so that germs don’t spread amongst your family and friends. Keep eating surfaces clean, and wash dishes before your replenish them with more food.
  • Offsides: Raw meat should be prepared separately from other food, as the juices can cross-contaminate. It’s best to use two different cutting boards. After cooking meat, serve it on a clean plate, not the one that held it while it was raw.
  • Equipment violations: A food thermometer can help you determine if meat is cooked safely. Whole cuts of beef and pork should be cooked to 145 °F followed by a three minute stand time, while ground beef and pork should be cooked to 160 °. Ground, whole, or pieces of poultry, as well as casseroles, should be cooked to 165 °F. Hotdogs and reheated deli meats should be cooked to 165 °F or until steaming hot.
  • Holding: Perishable foods shouldn’t be left out for more than two hours, or one hour if temperatures outside exceed 90 °F. Keep a cooler nearby to place leftover food in as soon as everyone is done.

As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I hope you and your family abide by these rules in order to enjoy an illness-free tailgate. In my experience as a product liability lawyer, foodborne illness can be a serious disease, especially for young children, the elderly, and pregnant women. Please visit this blog often to learn about food product recalls and other dangerous consumer products.

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