Camping outdoors can pose risk for food poisoning. The best and only way to prevent this condition is proper food storage and preparation. There are several types of food poisoning, including botulism, campylobacter, cholera, clostridium perfringens, and cryptosporidiosis. Each type is associated with different types of foods. For example, botulism is associated with canned foods, fish, soft cheeses, honey and home-preserved fruits. Below, you will discover several food safety tips to keep you healthy during your camping and hunting expeditions.
Proper Cold Storage
When perishable foods are left unrefrigerated more than two hours in hot temperatures, bacteria will be inevitable. The bacteria will grow at a rapid pace and if it is cooked improperly, you will develop food poisoning. It is important to make sure your cold foods are stored in an environment with temperatures 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
If you are utilizing a cold storage container, be sure to monitor it carefully. The entire compartment should be filled with ice cubes. When the ice cubes melt, the water should be emptied and fresh ice should be added. If the food is left unattended in warm water for more than one hour in temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you should toss it in the trash bin.
Avoid Cross Contamination
Another common cause of food poisoning is cross contamination. Foods, such as raw poultry, seafood, and meat, should be kept separate from fruits and vegetables. Raw meat has bacteria that can cause Salmonella and E. coli. If the juices from the raw meat come into contact with your fruits and vegetables, you could experience a bout of food poisoning.
If cross-contamination does occur, you should wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consumption. Experts recommend five to 10-minute soak and a thorough brushing and rinsing. Follow these recommendations and you will not develop food poisoning during your outing.
Keep Beverages In Separate Container
The experts at Corrie Cooks recommend keeping beverages in a separate container than perishable foods. This reason for this is because every time you open a cold container that is properly sealed, the inside temperature will drop. This will cause the ice to melt and your perishables will be exposed to warm outdoor air temperatures.
When the temperatures are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the risk of dehydration is at its highest. Since you will need to continuously replenish your drinks, it is best to keep them in a separate container. That way, your perishable foods will remain the proper temperature and everyone can replenish their beverages as often as they like.
Hand Washing Etiquette
Just because you are outdoors, does not mean you should not follow good hand washing etiquette. In fact, you will be exposed to more germs when you are outdoors than any other time. These germs can be transferred to your mouth, when you eat, drink and wipe your face. To prevent illness, you should wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap and water frequently.
Medical experts recommend washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and thoroughly rinse them under fresh water. If you do not have access to water, pick up a bottle of hand sanitizer at a local convenient store.