Parking Lot Prevention: Food Safety and Tailgating

The average American sports fan tends to feel conflicted during this part of the year. With Major League Baseball’s season winding down and the start of pro and college football, there are a lot of decisions to be made. What game should we go to?  What are we going to eat? This second question can be an exciting one especially for tailgaters of all varieties. Amongst the celebration, amongst the camaraderie, and amongst friends, food safety issues can still pop up…talk about spoilsports!

Transporting, preparing, and preserving food properly demands a concise game plan. Amongst many other considerations, a key to mantra to remember is “temperature, temperature, temperature!” Adhering to proper temperatures for food storage and proper cooking temperatures can take care of a lot of potential food safety concerns that come up. Penn State’s Department of Food Science advocates that tailgaters should not let food spend too much time in the “Temperature Danger Zone:” being between 40 and 140º F. When it comes down to the basics, you should keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. The USDA advocates for tailgaters to get themselves ready for the parking lot in several ways, including using food thermometers and thermometers for coolers and other cooling devices.

While Nelson-Jameson offers an array of thermometers designed for the food processing industry, a few models would be ideal additions to any tailgater’s checklist. Our refrigerator environmental chamber thermometer models are great for coolers and fridges, while our probe style thermometers are perfect for meat preparation.

Monitoring temperature is one great offensive move your tailgating team can make, but realize that there’s a lot more information out there on how to make your next tailgating session a safe one. If you didn’t get to earlier in the piece, check out this helpful document from Penn State’s Department of Food Science called “Food Safety Tailgating Tips.” Sticking a helpful guide like this one into your tailgating gear would be a great play to call this season!

A Picture of Mathew J. Bartkowiak, Ph.D.

About Mathew J. Bartkowiak, Ph.D.

Laboratory Products Department Manager, Nelson-Jameson, Inc.
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