During the summer months, you may be planning several road trips. You will likely take snacks and other foods for the ride, including the nutrient-packed, dense protein source of eggs. Packing perishable foods for warm summer trips means you should take extra precaution with temperature fluctuation. To fully enjoy your summer travels, follow the food safety tips below.
1) Make sure to always have a clean cooler and use plenty of ice, ice packs, frozen bottled water, and frozen food to keep the cooler temperature low. Cooked eggs especially need to be kept in an insulated cooler. 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 thrown away.
2) Packing a cooler correctly is also important. You should always take perishable foods directly from the refrigerator or freezer – not leaving them on the counter while organizing the cooler. It is a great idea to pack raw meat and poultry in a separate cooler to protect other perishables from cross-contamination. Since raw meat and poultry juices may contain dangerous bacteria, you should use re-sealable storage bags or disposable containers with lids to keep raw meat and poultry juices from contaminating foods, utensils and surfaces.
3) Be sure to replace the cooler with ice 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 reach the danger zone or fluctuate much.
4) Plan to store the cooler in the air-conditioned passenger compartment of the car.
Happy and safe travels!