Remember food safety begins at the store. Start by buying the freshest produce and meats. Slip meats into a plastic bag to prevent juices from leaking on other food and contaminating it. Stock up on plenty of plastic utensils, cups and serving plates.
Do some of your prep work the night before to save time. Freshness won't be an issue when you store your foods in separate re-sealable plastic bags and containers to keep air out and flavors from mingling. Tightly wrapping food in plastic also minimizes the transfer of odors.
Pack Food Safely:
Shallow plastic containers are best because they help cold foods stay chilled and they don't break.
Use two insulated plastic coolers, one for drinks, the other for food. With tailgaters going in and out of the drink cooler constantly, this will help foods stay cold until it's time to cook them or eat them.
Pack foods in reverse order so the last ones packed will be the first ones used. Instead of loose ice, freeze water in a lightweight plastic milk jug and put it in your cooler to keep everything cold that way, you won't flood the cooler, and you'll have a clean supply of cool drinking water post-game.
Allow Enough Time:
Get to the stadium early--three to four hours before game time--and find a good spot to park.
Serve food one and one half hours before kick-off. Take the time to cook it thoroughly to destroy harmful bacteria. Ground meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degree (brown or gray inside) and poultry to at least 180 degrees (until juices run clear). Bratwurst needs to grill at least 25 minutes before its ready to eat.
Cooks must wash hands before cooking and after handling raw meat to prevent the spread of bacteria. Soap and water is best.
Eat and Eat Some More!
Cook extra food, share it with tailgating neighbors and swap recipes.
Pack Up Leftover Food Safely
Pack up food in clean re-sealable plastic bags or shallow, airtight plastic containers and store in the cooler. But toss food that's been sitting out for more than two hours. Never reuse leftover marinade. Leave it in the plastic bag and throw it away. Be sure to bring plenty of extra plastic garbage bags for cleanup before heading into the stadium.
This Information Provided By American Plastic Council. Please visit www.tailgating.com for more tailgating information and tips.