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Beach-Bound? How to Pack a Cooler So Food Stays Safe

Posted By Candy Sagon On July 22, 2013 @ 4:22 pm In Health Talk | Comments Disabled

cooler2 [1]Packing up the car for a beach or lake vacation [2]? Keep food safe by making sure  your cooler stays cold enough during the drive.

The key is keeping food below 40 degrees F. so that bacteria can’t grow, say the food safety experts [3] at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Follow their handy cooler checklist and you’ll truly be able to chill out:

  • Use plenty of ice or frozen gel packs; have one insulated cooler for raw meat, poultry [4] and seafood, one for prepared food or raw produce.
  • Pack meat [5] and poultry while still frozen so they stay colder longer.
  • A full cooler will stay cold longer than one that is partially filled. If the cooler isn’t completely full, pack the remaining space with more ice.
  • Store food in watertight containers to prevent contact with melting ice water.
  • Reserve one cooler just for beverages (because it will be opened frequently), allowing unopened food coolers to stay cold.
  • Put a refrigerator thermometer in your cooler and make sure it reads 40 degrees F., or below.
  • When the temp outside is above 90 degrees F., put perishable food back in the cooler within one hour after eating. Otherwise, cool it within two hours.
  • For long trips, take one cooler just for that day’s lunch or snacks, and another for perishable food for later in the vacation.
  • At the beach, partially bury your cooler in the sand, cover it with blankets, and shade it with an umbrella for extra insulation.

 

Photo: atom [6] via flickr

 

Also of Interest

 

See the AARP home page [10] for deals, savings tips, trivia and more

 


Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org

URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/07/22/beach-bound-how-to-pack-a-cooler-so-food-stays-safe/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/cooler2.jpg

[2] vacation: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/07/08/cheap-ideas-for-family-fun/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL

[3] food safety experts: http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/chill.html

[4] poultry: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/07/19/farmers-market-chicken-may-have-more-bacteria/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL

[5] meat: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/05/01/ground-turkey-test-finds-90-percent-with-bacteria-antibiotics-in-meat/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL

[6] atom: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atom/14261010/

[7] Grilling Meat, Avoiding Cancer: 5 Important Tips: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/05/23/tips-for-grilling-meat-cancer-friendly-barbecue-carcinogens/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL

[8] Beach Report: Best (and Worst) for Clean Water: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/06/26/best-and-worst-beaches-for-water-quality-clean-water-beach-resorts/?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS

[9] Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM

[10] AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP

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