As you prepare for weekend football games and tailgates, keep these tips in mind to keep food contamination violations to a minimum:
- Illegal use of hands: Wash your hands before and after eating food. Because finger foods are often tailgate fare, it’s important you provide your guests with sanitizing napkins (unless a sink is available nearby) so that germs don’t spread amongst your family and friends. Keep eating surfaces clean, and wash dishes before your replenish them with more food.
- Offsides: Raw meat should be prepared separately from other food, as the juices can cross-contaminate. It’s best to use two different cutting boards. After cooking meat, serve it on a clean plate, not the one that held it while it was raw.
- Equipment violations: A food thermometer can help you determine if meat is cooked safely. Whole cuts of beef and pork should be cooked to 145 °F followed by a three minute stand time, while ground beef and pork should be cooked to 160 °. Ground, whole, or pieces of poultry, as well as casseroles, should be cooked to 165 °F. Hotdogs and reheated deli meats should be cooked to 165 °F or until steaming hot.
- Holding: Perishable foods shouldn’t be left out for more than two hours, or one hour if temperatures outside exceed 90 °F. Keep a cooler nearby to place leftover food in as soon as everyone is done.
As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I hope you and your family abide by these rules in order to enjoy an illness-free tailgate. In my experience as a product liability lawyer, foodborne illness can be a serious disease, especially for young children, the elderly, and pregnant women. Please visit this blog often to learn about food product recalls and other dangerous consumer products.