Hitting the road for the holidays? As you fill up the gas tank and check the air in the tires, don't forget to pack some snacks and light meals for your holiday travel. You will be glad you did, even for short trips, if heavy traffic or weather conditions slow you down. Keep your backseat treats safe by following these easy tips:
- Pack easy-to-transport, shelf-stable foods like cereal, trail mix, popcorn, single-serve containers of applesauce, cans of tuna, peanut butter sandwiches, fresh fruit, carrots and celery.
- Wash hands with soap and water during food preparation, especially between tasks. If you can't get to a restroom to wash your hands, pack moist towelettes or a hand sanitizer to clean up before digging in.
Know Your Foods' Limits
- Don't let food sit unrefrigerated for more than two hours. Pack food with plenty of ice or a frozen ice pack in an insulated lunch bag or cooler. Use a refrigerator thermometer to make sure the temperature stays below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Apply the Same Rules to Fast Food
- If you stop for carry-out or fast-food on the road, take the same food safety precautions. Wash your hands before eating and don't eat food that sits out for more than two hours.
Pack Leftovers with Care
- If you bring home leftovers on the return trip, keep them chilled with ice or ice packs in an insulated cooler. If it's cold outside, consider transporting food in the trunk rather than the heated car. Remember to reheat leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit before you serve them for a second round.
Reviewed December 2012