During the rush of the holidays, show your concern for others by following these food transportation safety tips:
- Car seats are often contaminated with germs that can cause illness. Cover your car seat with a clean sheet or large towel before placing the food container on it.
- Keep cold foods cold, 40°F or below. Take cold foods out of the fridge just before leaving home. Keep them in insulated containers with a cooler pack.
- Keep hot foods hot, at least 140°F. Put your piping hot food in a slow cooker set on low. Just before getting into the car, unplug the slow cooker and put it in a quilted carrier or insulated bag. Do not keep the food in the car for more than an hour. At your destination, plug in the slow cooker immediately.
- If hot food has cooled during the car trip, or if you brought refrigerated food that needs to be served hot, do not try to reheat it with a slow cooker. Reheat the food in a microwave or on a stove top until it is 165°F. (For more tips on slow cooker safety, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsafety/content/slow-cookers.)