Traveling and food safety
Traveling provides the opportunity to eat new and exciting foods. To ensure your dining experience is completely enjoyable, it’s important to keep in mind some simple food safety guidelines. Consuming undercooked or mishandled food can increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you are immunocompromised.
The FDA recommends you:
- Avoid ordering food containing uncooked ingredients like sprouts or eggs
- Avoid raw meat, poultry, or fish
- Make sure your meat, poultry, or fish have been cooked to safe minimal temperatures. Ask to speak to the chef if your server does not know.
- If you are bringing home leftovers, make sure to refrigerate them within two hours (or if it’s really hot outside, one hour because most foodborne illness-causing bacteria grow fastest in warm temperatures).
Along with asking your server about how safely your food is being prepared, it is also a good idea to know of some safe menu choices in times of uncertainty. If you are concerned with food poisoning, avoid improperly heated hot gods, cold sandwiches with deli meat, wraps and sandwiches with sprouts, and soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. Instead opt for something else if the hot dogs are not served hot, grilled sandwiches over cold sandwiches, wraps, and sandwiches with cooked sprouts, and hard cheeses or soft cheeses from pasteurized milk.
When transporting food, it’s important to keep food below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. By using a cooler with plenty of ice and frozen gel packs, you should be able to safely transport your food so long as the food stays below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep hot food HOT by using an insulated container. Warm food, around 80 degrees Fahrenheit will optimize the growth of many foodborne illness-causing pathogens. Remember the DANGER ZONE.