Food Fun and Facts -

Make Food Storage and Sharing a Snap

The fun and energy that fills your home after entertaining friends can vanish as soon as it's time to clean up the kitchen.

Finding containers to store food, finding lids for each container and rearranging the refrigerator are tedious tasks, taking up time that could be better spent reflecting on the night's festivities.

With Hefty Serve 'n Store Everyday disposable plates, serving, storing and sharing food is a snap - literally.

The plates snap together with interlocking rims that form a storage container. Every plate is a lid, and every lid is a plate.

To send leftovers home with guests, simply cover the plate with another plate. Guests can take their food home without worrying about spills, and hosts can share leftovers without losing storage containers.

For family members who are eating dinner later, the meal can be put together on a plate, covered with a second plate and put into the refrigerator.

Refrigerated foods can be stored this way for about two days; cookies and other foods that do not require refrigeration can be stored for three to four days.

Food can be microwaved with these Serve 'n Store Everyday plates; they help retain food moisture and prevent splatters.

Interlocked Serve 'n Store plates also can be used to prepare food. For example, to bread meats, pour breading into one of the plates, add two to three pieces of meat, cover tightly with another plate and shake gently.

For scrambled eggs, mix two eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk in a plate, cover loosely with another, and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds, stirring halfway through.

Available in 9- and 10-inch plates and 16-ounce bowls, Hefty Serve 'n Store products are sold in grocery stores and mass merchandisers nationwide.

For more information, e-mail HeftyConsumerProducts@pactiv.com.


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How to Keep Food Safe When Tailgating Q&A

What is tailgating?

Tailgating is a fun American tradition where food is prepared and enjoyed near the back of a car or truck, often in the parking lot of a sporting, music or other large event.

However, food-borne illness is no fun. Careful planning and onsite precautions can help ensure your food is safe to eat.



How do I pack for tailgating safely?

First, make sure you have enough large coolers (or a plug-in car cooler) to hold all of your food and beverages comfortably.

Keep coolers clean by removing any standing water, and wiping out the interior with an antibacterial wipe or product.

Make sure you have enough gel or ice packs, and ice, to keep food cold, especially on hot days.



Tips for packing:

Pack the perishables, especially raw foods, separate from drinks and ready-to-eat foods
Pack meats separately from raw fruits and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination
Keep pre-made sandwiches and other foods tightly sealed
Put mayonnaise and similar products on ice just before you leave for the stadium, and then place them in the cooler last, on top of the other items
Pack just the food you need to minimize leftovers
Make sure you have a food thermometer to test food temperature



How should you safely handle meats while tailgating?

If you are going to cook hamburgers, its best to purchase already formed patties to minimize contact with the meat, and ultimately, cross contamination.

Hand sanitizers, antibacterial wipes and disposable gloves can be used to ensure safe handling of raw foods. After you touch meat, never touch other foods.

Throw gloves away after you use them, and immediately dispose of any food that falls, or comes in contact with, the ground or other unclean surface.



Can you cook food partially at home so it grills faster while tailgating?

Meat should be either cooked completely at home and then reheated at the game, or cooked completely at the game.

If you partially cook meat you will need to refrigerate or cool the meat, and then bring it back to its final temperature.

Meat must be cooked thoroughly (not burned) to avoid the spread of E. coli, Salmonella or other microorganisms that cause food borne illness.

Ideally, hamburgers and hot dogs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. A thermometer is the only way to confirm optimal meat temperature, so it?s recommended to bring one along.



How long can foods like hot dogs and hamburgers sit out without being refrigerated?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), cooked foods should remain unrefrigerated or cooled no more than two hours.



What about mayonnaise-based foods, such as potato salad?

There is a misperception that mayonnaise-based products can easily make you sick.

Mayonnaise is actually acidic, which protects foods against contamination from bacteria and viruses. However, like any perishable food, mayonnaise-based products should be placed in a cooler before and after the meal.



How do you keep hot food hot?

A crock pot, even one that is unplugged, can keep hot foods warm for several hours.
In addition, there are warming devices that can directly plug into a car power outlet.



Are leftovers from a tailgate safe to eat?

When the tailgate is over, make sure that any leftovers are properly chilled, wrapped up and placed back into a cooler, or thrown away.
In general, when in doubt throw it out!

Sources: Robert Gravani, PhD, Professor of Food Science at Cornell University, IFT spokesperson
Robert Brackett, IIT Vice President and Director, Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology, IFT spokesperson

Released: 11/1/2012 3:45 PM EDT
Source: Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
Stephanie Callahan IFT Media Relations Specialist
312-604-0273 scallahan@ift.org