Safe food when traveling

Food on the road requires safe handling.

Going somewhere for a vacation? No matter where you are going, food is always part of the trip.  Whether you are travelling by plane, train, or car, keep food safety in mind while you are travelling. 

Ideas for food on the road include hard-cooked eggs, single serving yogurt, string cheese, juice packs, sliced cheese, and fruit such as bananas, oranges, apples and grapes. Nonperishable foods like crackers, popcorn, granola bars and cookies, are easy to pack and require no refrigeration. 

Wash firm-skinned fruits and vegetables by rubbing with a brush under running tap water including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten, before leaving home. Then keep it clean in clean storage bags.

When transporting any perishables foods, including cut fruit or vegetables, be sure to keep them cold in a cooler with ice or gel packs. The United States Department of Agriculture suggests keeping a separate cooler for beverages to limit the times the cooler is opened. If the cooler is only partially filled, fill it up with more ice. 

If you are staying in motels, use the refrigerator to keep foods cold. If taking leftovers from a restaurant, keep them cold in a refrigerator. 

No matter where you are travelling, washing hands should always be a priority before and after handling foods or before eating. Michigan State University Extension recommends washing hands with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Dry with a clean paper towel. Other times when hand washing is essential including after using the bathroom, changing diapers and after handling pets. 

Wherever you travel this season, stay healthy and food safe by planning ahead and keeping food safety in mind.  

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