As the weekend approaches, Ragin’ Cajun fans are ready to pack the coolers, grills and go-cups for a day of tailgating at Cajun Field. While everyone loves burgers and boudin, not everyone loves missing the first touchdown because of the ill effects of food poisoning. Follow these easy INDEats suggestions to pass a good time, cher.
Always keep cooked and raw foods separate to avoid cross contamination. This goes for storage containers, cutting and cooking surfaces and plates planned to serve cooked foods on — never put the cooked food back on the plate its raw predecessor once rested upon.
Items you refrigerate at home require the same TLC when on the go. Mayo, sour cream, salad dressings and other condiments need to be chilled as they cannot take the blazing temps forecasted.
Perishable foods should not sit out for more than one hour. We hate to toss food just as much as you do, so keep your crowd in mind — do you really need to cook for a whole army or just a few? Keep plenty of snacks prepared for hungry mouths while waiting for the gumbo to boil.
A double duty space saving idea is to pack the ice chest with frozen water bottles to keep food chilled early on and as the day goes by, the bottles will defrost for drinking. Pack foods requiring the most cooling towards the bottom of the ice chest.
Keep a food thermometer handy for checking internal temperatures of meats — as a guidline, beef and pork should be 145 degrees, ground beef at 160, and poultry should come to 165.
And, always pack hand sanitizer, wipes and other ways to get grimy hands clean. One of the biggest sources of contamination comes from the people who touch food. In general, soap and water is hard to come by on game day — hands should be washed before and after handling food and of course, when visiting the port a potty.
Enjoy the day with the family over company and eats and Geaux Cajuns.
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