What makes summer fun – the picnics, the cookouts, the family reunions, the road trips, the beach vacations – often involves traveling with food.
It’s a challenge to keep food safe from pesky bacteria that can make people sick and choose dishes that provide maximum flavor.
We gathered advice from experts well-versed in the art of traveling with food: DeeDee Stovel, a former caterer from Northern California who wrote “Picnic: 125 Recipes with 29 Seasonal Menus,” and two North Carolina authors who have written tailgating cookbooks, Debbie Moose of Raleigh, author of “Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home,” and Taylor Mathis of Charlotte, author of “The Southern Tailgating Cookbook.”
Follow sanitary practices when preparing food. Wash hands before handling ingredients, especially raw meat. Don’t cut raw meat and vegetables on the same cutting board.
Choose ingredients that are safer to eat outdoors in hot weather. Skip mayonnaise-based dressings for salads; try dressings with oil and vinegar or some other acid. Avoid dips and spreads that are heavy on dairy products, such as cream cheese or heavy cream; serve salsa instead.
Chill food thoroughly before packing it in a cooler. Stovel said, “Don’t cool (food) in the cooler.”
Cold food needs to be kept at 40 degrees or below to prevent bacterial growth. The key, Moose said, is “ice and more i...