How to Transport Food Safely
No doubt, transporting prepared food from one destination to the other without it spilling, crumbling, sliding, getting contaminated is not an easy task. Food packaging is another thing you have to deal with as you must have the dish well packaged for it to survive the journey, whether long or short. The good news is that there are numerous tips that you can leverage on in ensuring that your already prepared dish gets to the party location safely and free of contamination. Whether you are cooking for a large party and need to transport consumables, or you simply require information on the ins and outs of food transportation, this article will help.
Transporting Hot Food
The most critical aspect of food conveyance is that it must be kept either cold or hot at a safe temperature. You have to avoid food poisoning at all costs because getting sick will never engender good memories. Keep the 2-hour-rule in mind – never leave perishable consumables at car temperature or room temperature for more than a couple of hours. Here are tips on how to keep food warm for hours:
- 140⁰F and above is suitable for hot food in transit.
- Wrap hot food very well and place them in insulated containers such as coolers.
- Coolers work well for food storage, both hot and cold as they preserved the food at the right temperature until you get to your destination.
- Some people like to wrap hot food in a towel before putting them in a cooler – the essence of this is to produce additional insulation.
- Once you get to your destination, use an oven to maintain the temperature of 140°F or higher until it is time to serve.
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Transporting Cold Food
As for cold food in transit, the following tips will work quite well:
- Make use of a cooler packed with ice, an insulated container lined with an ice pack, or freezer packs to maintain the temperature of cold food at 40°F or lower, especially if getting to your destination will take more than 30 minutes.
- You can place some newspaper around any container you want to keep cold.
- With the food item safe in a wooden basket, insulated bag, or cardboard box, you can surround it with several crumpled newspapers, and for good measures, you can introduce a few frozen ice packs.
- Toss out the soggy papers when you arrive at your destination.
- It is either the food is served as soon as you arrive or,
- You put it in a refrigerator to maintain the temperature.
Transporting Potentially Hazardous Consumables
If you must transport any food that is potentially hazardous, then you must try as much as possible to minimize opportunities for contamination as bacteria is known to grow on food in transit. Foods that are described as potentially risky include the following:
- Foods that contain cooked and raw meats – this includes the likes of pies, casseroles, sandwiches, and the likes.
- Both processed foods and dairy products containing ingredients like nuts, beans, eggs, as well as seafood.
- Processed fruits and ready to eat packs of fruits.
- Salads like prepared salads.
- Cooked pasta and rice.
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Safety Rules That You Must Observe While Transporting Food
This includes tips on how to prevent cross-contamination anytime you happen to have food in transit:
- The food should be protected from contamination.
- Five degrees Celsius or cooler is the right temperature for cold food in transit.
- 60 degrees Celsius or hotter is ok for hot food in transit.
- The food must be kept constantly covered to stop germs from getting in.
- The best materials to use as cover are a plastic film, aluminum foil or you can decide to make use of clean towels.
- If the food is open, then you must make use of covered containers that are clean with tight-fitting lids. The container must be in good condition.
- Avoid covering open food with materials that have been previously used, such as newspapers.
Related Post: Best Food Storage Containers
Alternative To Transporting Already Prepared Food
Conversely, if you are in doubt that you can convey cooked food from one place to the other, safely and in good condition, then the alternative can suffice. Here, the available best option is to gather all the needed ingredients in a cooler and take it to the location where the food is needed and prepare it there. Non-perishables such as cookies and bread can be transported a long distance, while perishable ingredients like; poultry, fish, meat, eggs, as well as dairy products, can only survive for a journey of half an hour or even less.