A BCCDC food safety expert is reminding people how to cook and handle food safely if they’re planning to cook over a fire or camp stove this Canada Day weekend.
“Some bacteria thrive in hot and humid weather, so it’s especially important to practice food safety outside,” says Lorraine McIntyre. “Pack your cooler full of ice, and remember your meat thermometer and hand sanitizer. ‘Roughing it’ shouldn’t mean an unpleasant trip to the camp facilities.”
McIntyre also has some other useful tips for campers this weekend:
- If you’re going on a hike, use a lightweight, flexible cooler bag with an ice pack to keep perishable foods chilled.
- Use a probe thermometer to make sure you’ve cooked foods to an internal temperature of 74°C.
- Wash your hands with soap and water if you can, or use a hand sanitizer before preparing food.
- Bring water. Drink only treated or boiled water.
- Keep raw foods separated from ready-to-eat foods in your cooler to prevent cross-contamination.
- Bacteria multiply quickly over 4°C, so freeze foods like meats before you go so they stay colder longer, and bring extra ice packs.
- Never leave food unattended in your tent. Secure your food in your cooler or car, or hang it from a tree in a durable (bear) bag or container.
- To avoid attracting pests, discard dishwater at least 10 metres from your camp site. Tightly seal and pack out your garbage.
For more information on food safety, visit www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/summer-food-safety.