Camping Food Safety Tips
Who wouldn’t like to spend their nights in a tent, camping under the stars? If you’re one of those people who love the outdoors and you are a happy camper at heart, you must be aware of how difficult it is to keep food safe and hygienic during your trip. Being sick in the woods isn’t fun for anybodynot for you and definitely not for your fellow campers. But thank your stars that we exist because we’re here to give you some camping food safety tips on how to avoid illnesses while you’re out and about in the wilderness. Here they are:
1. Wishy Washy
Before you sit down to eat, wash your hands, utensils and all cooking surfaces. This is a camping basic. Don’t forget about it.
2. Keep It Cool
Raw meat and dairy products are difficult enough to handle when you have to do it in your own kitchen, but in a camping site it’s doubly so. You want to keep these food items cold until use (below 4 C) with a help of a good quality cooler. Also, if you’re sitting outside, eat your food within four hours otherwise it will spoil. To make things way easier, carry jerky instead!
3. Ice, Ice, Baby
Instead of using normal ice, you could make things interesting by using dry ice. If not, then don’t use small ice cubes. Instead, use large blocks of ice because they won’t melt as fast. What you could also do is freeze ice in large plastic milk containers so that when the ice melts, it is easily removed from the cooler.
4. Be a Cool Spender
Coolers can be pretty expensive. But a good quality cooler goes a long way in saving you a lot of trouble during camping. Expensive coolers last longer and won’t break down when you’re in the middle of wilderness. Because that would be an absolute nightmare!
5. Separation Nation
You’ve kept your drinks with your food because you had only one cooler. You’re having a gala time exploring your camp site. You get thirsty. You reach into your cooler to grab a few drinks for you and your buddies but your hands are dirty. You accidentally touch your food. But it’s a little bit of dirt, so who cares. Well, your body does. And you might get severely ill because of it. Plus, you don’t want your vegetables tasting like a soft drink. Keep your beverages in a separate cooler.
6. In Hot Water
It doesn’t matter how pristine the lake looks, you never know what kind of pathogens lurk underneath. You need to purify the water before drinking it. Bring it to a boil and then boil for at least one minute. If the water is muddy, then after you boil it, allow the silt to settle at the bottom, and then boil the clear water again. If you’re at higher elevations, remember to boil for longer.
7. Highway to The Danger Zone
It’s always good to check the temperature of the food that you are preparing. If food is sitting outside and it is above 5 C and below 57 C, it is in something called the "danger zone" making it hazardous to consume. Carry a food thermometer to make sure you’re in the green.
Unless you want your camptastic retreat to be marred by unforeseen illnesses of an unmentionable nature, pay heed to what you’ve read here. Your tummy can thank us later.
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