Football season is here again and that means tailgating! There’s no better way to get pumped for the big game than firing up the grill. This pre-game tradition can be lots of fun when handled responsibly. As friends and family gather and you fill your grill with savory snacks, make sure you’re planning out a danger-free tailgate. When you’re tossing the pigskin and rallying up your favorite teams’ fans, account for all elements of tailgate safety, so that everyone wins! Load up the cooler and follow these quick tips to celebrate safely.
Properly Pack Your Cooler
Nothing spoils your tailgate fun more than spoiled food, so before you leave the house, be sure to pack all perishable items in an insulated cooler. Make sure there’s enough ice inside to keep your food at a safe temperature. Also, tightly seal all meat to prevent the juices from cross-contaminating your other food.
You’ve finally arrived and it’s time to get set up! Make sure to place your grill at least 6 feet away from any cars or other combustibles. Never grill on your vehicle. In addition, never leave your grill unattended and keep children and pets at a safe distance.
Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand in case of an emergency.
Avoid Foodborne Illness
Everyone is dying to test out your grill master skills, but don’t rush your food off of the grill. Pack a food thermometer and check to make sure that your meat is cooked fully to the recommended temperatures.
When removing food from the grill, be sure to place it on a clean platter. Do not reuse the same dish that was previously holding the raw meat. After your fare has been prepared, keep all hot foods at a temperature of at least 140 degrees.
Throw out any perishable food items after your tailgate. Although leftovers may seem tempting later, you should never leave food unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.
Designate a Driver
Don’t ruin the fun by making a bad decision. Make sure you designate a driver at the beginning of the day so that everyone gets home safely. By assigning a designated driver before the game, you eliminate the possibility of an impaired driver getting behind the wheel, which allows you to focus your energy and excitement on the big game. When the ball is up in the air, you want to know that it won’t be fumbled or intercepted, so covering all bases of your transportation before the festivities begin is crucial.
As we hoist the anchor and say good-bye to summer, we welcome football season with open arms. When you’re preparing for the big game and tailgate festivities are involved, be sure to reference the aforementioned safety tips so that everyone wins! The season is slowly approaching, and we want to hear about your tailgate experiences! Do you have any stories to share or specific safety tips for new tailgaters this season? If so, we would love to hear your thoughts below.