Summer is the time to hop in the car for road trips and family visits. Packing nutritious snacks, like protein-packed hard boiled eggs, will make the trip easier. Taking perishable foods on summer trips requires extra care to ensure the snacks stay cold. To fully enjoy your summer travels, follow these food safety tips.
1) Use a clean, well-insulated cooler and add plenty of ice, ice packs, frozen bottled water, or frozen food. Cooked eggs and other perishable foods need to be kept below 40°F. Bacteria can quickly grow at the temperature danger zone between 40°F and 140°F. Food left in the danger zone for more than two hours should be discarded.
2) Packing a cooler correctly is also important. Always take perishable foods directly from the refrigerator or freezer – don’t leave them on the counter while organizing the cooler.
3) Use a second cooler for uncooked meat and poultry to protect other perishables from cross-contamination. Store raw meat and poultry in re-sealable storage bags or disposable containers with lids to keep juices from contaminating food, utensils and surfaces.
3) Add extra ice to the cooler each time food is removed and keep the cooler out of direct sunlight. Since you will likely open the cooler with drinks more often, try to pack them in a separate cooler so the temperature of the perishable foods does not fluctuate or reach the danger zone.
4) Store the cooler in the air-conditioned passenger compartment of the car.