How can I keep my food safe on camping trips?
Though summer is quickly passing, there are still plenty of opportunities to camp. Being outdoors for extended periods of time can provide the challenge of maintaining proper temperatures of camp foods. Keeping perishable food cold during both travel time and camping requires planning. Consider these ideas.
Store eggs, meat, poultry, fish and milk at temperatures under or close to 40 F. Micro-organisms begin to grow in food as it warms. The warmer the food becomes, the faster the microbial growth. During extended campouts, it is especially important to keep food as cold as possible.
Freeze large containers of ice a day or two before your trip. Large blocks of ice
take longer to melt than the same amount of ice in smaller containers. Ice can be
made in clean, half gallon milk cartons, plastic buckets or partially filled zip-lock
plastic bags. Be sure to leave expansion room when filling containers. Plastic soda
pop bottles can also be used if they are only two-thirds full. Individual servings
of juice in cartons can be frozen to help keep foods cool, then used later.
Be cautious of loose ice. Ice left loose in the ice chest cools food rapidly, but can easily become contaminated from meat juices or hands reaching into the cooler. Ice can be safely used for drinks if it is kept in a container that is not in direct contact with food.
Prepare as much food as you can before the trip. Preparing food at home will help alleviate problems with cleanup and cross-contamination at the camping site. For example, hamburger patties can be shaped at home and placed in plastic bags. If patties will be used the first day, they can be refrigerated. If they won't be used for two to three days, freeze them and let them thaw in the ice chest. This will provide additional cooling.
Keep the ice chest as cool as possible. The back seat of a car is often cooler than the trunk. Extra insulation can be added to the ice chest by wrapping it in a towel or blanket. Keep the ice chest shaded at the camp site.
If ice from the cooler has melted and food doesn't feel cold, throw it out. Whole fresh produce, such as potatoes, onions, apples and oranges are safe without cooling. Canned foods, dried foods, peanut butter and jelly are always safe. Pickles, mustard, mayonnaise and catsup have a high enough acid content that it is not essential that they be kept cold throughout the trip. On longer camping trips, plan on using nonperishable foods toward the end of the trip in case the ice is gone.
Avoid cross contamination. Place an extra plastic bag around meat and poultry items to catch any juices that may drip. If meat juices drip into the ice, don't use the ice in drinks. Keep hands and utensils clean. If clean water isn't available, bag dirty dishes and utensils and wash them when you get home. Paper plates can also be used to simplify cleanup.
Posted on 6 Aug 2004
Food Safety Specialist
How much of the powdered chlorine is to be used when storing large amounts of water? I know 16 drops of liquid 5% bleach is stated, need to know for powdered form like that used in backyard swimming pools?
In regards to your question on using powdered chlorine in place of liquid chlorine bleach for water purification there are a number of factors to consider. The recommendations as you outlined are for a 5% bleach solution. Not all tablets or powdered chlorine are the same strength- you would need to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the amount needed of the product you have. Many of the swimming pool products are not designed for consumption purposes and are not manufactured in conditions that would be required for products designed for human consumption (again, it is necessary to double check the product you have for safety and use). Use of this product will also be affected by the consumer’s storage method and length of time it has been in storage since chlorine does dissipate when exposed to air.
For water storage, the recommendation is 1/8 teaspoon or 8 drops of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Water from a chlorinated municipal water supply does not need further treatment when stored in clean, food-grade containers.
Posted on 25 Jul 2008
Family and Consumer Science Agent, Davis County
I'm looking for a Community Supported Agriculture farm to become involved with close to Salt Lake City. Are you aware of any?
I have provided a link to Slow Food Utah that has link on their website to local Utah Community Supported Agriculture farms that are taking new subscriptions. Click on the following link
Looking over the listings, the most likely CSA with suitable pick up points is either Borski Farms or East Farms. All the contact information is on the above webpage. If you have any further questions, I’d be happy to help you out.
Posted on 11 Feb 2008
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County
Safety tips for ATV riders?
Four-wheel all terrain vehicles (ATVs) are popular recreational and work vehicles for millions of Americans. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission determined that between 1997 and 2001, the number of ATV riders increased 36 percent, from 12 million to more than 16 million. During this five-year period, ATV riding time increased 50 percent to almost 2,400 million hours annually. With this increase in popularity, annual ATV injuries jumped 104 percent, from less than 50,000 to almost 112,000. Excessive speed and loss of control are the common reasons for ATV accidents, and there are specific groups of riders more prone to injuries. These groups include youth under the age of 16, inexperienced operators during their first year of driving and recreational riders. Parents should make sure children are properly trained before riding ATVs and supervise them when they ride. Consider these safety guidelines for ATV riders. • Ride at a controlled speed. This should be done within the operator’s abilities and within the capabilities of the machine.
- Wear appropriate safety equipment. This includes a helmet, shatter-resistant eye protection, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and boots that cover ankles. Utah law requires riders under the age of 18 to wear helmets.
- Make sure drivers are licensed or certified. Utah law requires ATV operators to have a driver’s license, or, for youth under the age of 16, a safety education certification earned by completing an ATV course. Only youth 8 years and older may legally operate an ATV on public lands, and youth under the age of 16 must be supervised by an adult when operating an ATV.
- Do not carry a passenger unless the ATV is designed to do so.
- Do not travel on paved roads. ATVs are not designed to operate on pavement.
- Be cautious when riding in the dark. Because visibility is decreased, operators should drive slowly and carefully.
- As with any vehicle, drivers should not operate ATVs when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Regularly maintain ATVs to ensure safe operation.
For a brochure on ATV safety and training, contact the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation Off Highway Vehicle Education office at 801-538-7433 or 800-OHV-RIDE. The brochure, Highlights from Utah Off-Highway Vehicle Laws and Rules is also available at www.stateparks.utah.gov/ohv/laws.htm. It describes the requirements for ATV registration, age and education, equipment, helmets, safety, courtesy, ethics and appropriate and prohibited riding locations in Utah. For assistance concerning ATV registration, contact a Utah Division of Motor Vehicles office or call 801-297-7780 or 1-800-DMV-UTAH.
Posted on 16 Oct 2003
Agricultural Systems Technology and Education Specialist