Keep Cool With Cooler Safety

Hot summer days bring outside meals with family or friends. Before you head to the next picnic, it’s important to know how to pack the cooler to keep food at a safe temperature.

Cooler with ice and beverage cans
  • The day before, clean your cooler(s). If it feels warm, allow it to cool down indoors. Consider filling water bottles or milk cartons to freeze overnight to use as ice blocks in your cooler. Ice blocks stay frozen longer than ice cubes or ice packs.
  • Load food straight from the fridge to your cooler. Perishable foods like raw meat, poultry, and fish should be stored in watertight containers or zipped plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. The cooler should always be below 40ºF. A thermometer placed in the cooler will help monitor the temperature inside.
  • Avoid opening the lid, which lets cold air out and warm air in. Pack beverages in one cooler and perishable food in a separate cooler. When traveling, place the cooler in the car rather than the hot trunk. Once at your destination, keep your cooler in a shaded area rather than in the hot sun. Placing a blanket, rug or quilt over the cooler will also help keep it cool.

Sources:
Eat right, www.eatright.org
Food Safety and Inspection Service, www.fsis.usda.gov/foodsafety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Words on Wellness

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Categories