Health Dangers of Eating Outside

Which foods or supplies are appropriate for camping?

When you’re camping, it can be difficult to know what to bring. In a tent, for example, you won’t have abundant food storage, nor will you have a reliable way to regulate temperatures.

Try avoiding perishable items and sticking to dry, canned or UHT products. Frozen items, such as meat for barbecuing, may be kept in a cooler for a day or two, providing they were thoroughly frozen beforehand. The cooler should then be covered with a web bag to promote cooling through evaporation.

If you’ve planned your meals in advance, put the items you’ll need soonest at the top of the cooler. This will ensure you won’t have to leave the cooler open longer than is necessary.

All food should be cooked through at a temperature of at least 140 degrees, while all drinking water should be boiled before use. Alternatively, you may wish to use disinfecting water tablets or high-end portable water filter. Be sure any product you use kills Giardia and  Cryptosporidium which are prevalent especially when human or animal waste might be present in upstream water sources.  To be 100% safe, put water in a clean pot and bring to a full boil. There are no bacteria/viruses known that can survive 212 degrees of continuous heat.

Further Tips:

It’s important to stay clean and hygienic at all times, however even more so when eating outside. Wash your hands regularly if a clean water source is available., especially after handling raw produce. If you don’t have access to clean water, carry disposable wipes or a bottle of alcohol based hand sanitizer to ensure bacteria are killed effectively. Place meat in leak-proof containers to prevent juices from leaking on to prepared foods.

Always use clean plates and utensils for cooking and dining to avoid potentially dangerous cross-contamination. You should also avoid placing food directly on to picnic tables as you likely won’t have any way to tell how clean they are. Use trays to serve dishes for sharing or plates for individual meals.

Finally, keep all food sealed and ensure the area around your picnic, barbecue or camp site is kept clean and functional. With these great tips, you ae sure to come bback from your event, trip or camp as clean and healthy as you were before you left – and probably a lot more relaxed too!

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