It is important to follow simple food safety tips when traveling with food for get-togethers or the holidays to ensure the food stays safe to eat. Make sure your "road" to food safety is smooth and not a bumpy one by following these tips:
Transport Food Safely
- Keep hot foods hot (140°F or higher) by wrapping them in foil, and then in heavy towels. Or, carry them in insulated wrappers or containers designed to keep food hot.
- Keep cold foods cold (40°F or lower) by placing them in a cooler with ice or freezer packs or an insulated container with a cold pack designed to keep food cold.
- Place cold foods in the refrigerator.
- Place hot foods in an oven hot enough to keep the food at an internal temperature of 140°F or above; use a food thermometer to ensure the food stays at a safe internal temperature. Learn more about keeping foods warm.
- Plan to serve food shortly after guests have arrived.
Avoid the Danger Zone
- By keeping hot food hot and cold food cold, you are avoiding the Danger Zone (temperatures between 40 - 140°F) where bacteria grows rapidly.
- Perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, and casseroles kept at room temperature for longer than 2 hours should be thrown out.
- Ready-to-eat foods such as cookies, crackers, bread, and whole fruit are exceptions to the Danger Zone