Whether you’re heading out to the woods, the beach, or any spot in the wilderness, camping is an adventure that can be enjoyed by the whole family. A lot of planning, packing, and safety checking goes into any camping trip, but have you remembered your strategies to keep your food safe?
With the following tips, we’re going to look at some effective ways to keep your food safe when you’re staying on a campsite.
You Need Low Temps for Poultry and Fish
There are some foods that you shouldn’t take camping, and then there are some, like poultry and fish, that are in something of a gray area. If you have electricity at your camp site, or you’re using an RV, then you will be able to refrigerate some of your food. However, if you’re going to be relying on ice and a cooler, then you won’t have as much control over temperature. Fish, chicken, eggs, and milk, should all be kept under 40°F. This also applies to meat, such as pork and beef. If you’re only camping for a couple of days, and you have large blocks of ice for your cooler, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
Beware of Cross Contamination
Keep separate coolers for your raw foods and drinks. Raw meat should be kept in sealed bags or containers, within a dedicated cooler. Drinks should then be kept in another cooler. This is because contaminants from the raw meat could easily compromise your cooled drinks, or contaminants could be transferred to the meat from hands regularly reaching into the ice for drinks.
Prepare Food Before Leaving
Separate all of your meat and other frozen or refrigerated ingredients before you go on your trip. This will mean less preparation on your campsite, and fewer issues with cross contamination.
Use Dry Goods and Canned Food for Longer Trips
Food can easily spoil if you run out of ice, or if you don’t have a regular power supply. Choosing to stick with dry goods and canned foods can reduce your reliance on fresh meat and produce. Choose wholly cooked canned products like luncheon meat or canned fish, and bring bread, pasta, or rice with you. You can even choose canned vegetables over fresh vegetables for longer trips. Even if you don’t like the idea of eating mostly canned foods for a week, it’s a much better alternative than food poisoning or other food related illnesses.
Don’t Count on Having a Clean Water Supply
Bring all of your drinking and cooking water with you. Purchase some food grade plastic drums for your water. At a minimum, you will need one gallon of drinking water, per person, per day. If you have to rely on an alternate water supply, make sure that you bring the water to a rolling boil for two minutes, to kill organisms within the water. Alternatively, you can bring water sterilization tablets for emergencies.
Just because you’re out camping, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to practice regular food safety as you would at home. Remember to keep utensils clean, and follow the above tips to ensure safe eating on your next camping trip.