Tailgating Tips

by Tristen Spahr

Tailgating can be an all-day affair, so be on the offense when it comes to keeping food and fans safe. Be sure to follow these tips for a safe and delicious tailgate!

Score Big with Wet Wipes: Bring clean, wet, disposable cloths or moist towelettes and paper towels to clean hands and surfaces.  Washing hands with soap and water is best, so bring your own water if none will be available at the tailgate. Include extra utensils so you can trade them out, as well as clean containers to store leftovers.

Maintain Zone Coverage: The “Danger Zone” for perishable foods is between 40° and 140° F. Keep hot foods hot (above 140° F) and cold foods cold (below 40° F). Use insulated coolers with plenty of ice packs to both transport and store food. Make sure raw meat and poultry are wrapped securely and separately to prevent their juices from mixing with ready-to-eat foods.

The Team is Warming Up and So Should the Food: It’s important to cook foods to a proper internal temperature, but it’s equally important to keep food hot after cooking! Bring a slow cooker or warming tray to your tailgate to ensure sure your hot dishes are kept at 140° F or above. To be on the safe side, bring a food thermometer to your tailgate!

Proper Cool-Down is Essential: Perishable foods should be stored at 40° F or below and should not be left sitting out for longer than two hours (or one hour if the temperature outside is above 90° F).  Better yet, keep them on ice if possible and don’t set food out until you’re ready to feast!

Click here for more information on tailgating food safety.

Now that you know how to keep your food safe, check out these cheesy game day recipes to amp up your tailgate!

Tristen Spahr

Tristen is the Communications Specialist for the American Dairy Association Mideast. A recent graduate of The Ohio State University, Tristen was raised on a dairy farm in Northwest Ohio. She is a social media enthusiast and enjoys cooking and going to concerts in her free time.

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