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Summer food safety on the go
On a boat:
Don't set out a spread for all-day snacking. Put food back in the cooler between meals.
If you're fishing, check with the state health department to make sure the fish in your river or lake are safe to eat.
Keep the cooler out of direct sunlight. Try covering it with a light-colored blanket that can reflect heat.
Clean your hands before opening the cooler and again after touching raw meat.
Pack your own water or purify what your find.
Carry nonperishable snacks, like canned tuna or dried fruit. Skip any foods that might spoil unless you can keep them cold.
At the beach:
Partially bury the cooler in the sand, and shade with an umbrella. Discard anything that's been sitting out for more than two hours (one hour if it's more than 90 degrees out).
In a car:
Pack frozen and perishable items in an ice-filled cooler.
While traveling, keep the cooler inside the air-conditioned part of the car.
At your discretion, keep the cooler in the shade.
In an RV:
Make sure the refrigerator works and is clean before you go.
Check expiration dates on canned foods. Throw out canned items that were exposed to freezing temperatures during the winter.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Environmental Protection Agency. "Fish and Shellfish Advisories and Safe Eating Guidelines." https://www.epa.gov/choose-fish-and-shellfish-wisely/fish-and-shellfish-advisories-and-safe-eating-guidelines.
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. "USDA Urges Consumers to Keep Clear of the Danger Zone this Summer." https://www.fsis.usda.gov/news-events/news-press-releases/usda-urges-consumers-keep-clear-danger-zone-summer.