Tips for a Safe Tailgate

October 10, 2018

tailgate safety

Football season is here, which means tailgating season is in full swing. Hosting a tailgate can be a must or bust, so here are five tips to keep you and your guests safe while guaranteeing a good time to be had by all.

1) Plan your food in advance and prepare for proper storage. Popular foods for gameday grilling include hot dogs, chicken and burger patties which should be stored in individual containers in an ice-packed cooler until grilling time. Nothing kicks a game day off like a bad case of food poisoning due to cross-contamination or improper food storage.

Another tip is to designate a cooler for raw meat, another for chilled beverages, and another for extra bags of ice in case you need them.

2) Make sure you grill correctly. When setting up, be sure to place your grill at least six feet away from any cars or other combustibles and never grill on your vehicle. Keep pets and children at a safe distance and never leave your grill unattended.

As for cooking meat, you should always travel with a meat thermometer to ensure the meat is fully cooked to the recommended temperatures before serving. Be careful not to reuse plates used to hold raw meat and always throw away any perishable foods after your tailgate. Food should never be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours, so when in doubt, throw it out!

3) Always have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit handy. You never know when you or another tailgater might need to put out a fire or bandage a cut finger. Not to mention tailgating zones can be packed with people, tripping hazards and footballs being thrown.

4) Be sure to have a designated driver on your roster. Regardless of how you partake in a tailgate, you can’t control the actions of others behind the wheel. Always have a sober driver designated to drive you and your crew to and from the tailgate.

5) Now for the small but important details. Always pack plenty of water, sun screen, paper towels, garbage bags and hand sanitizer. Tailgating can be hot and messy (the same goes for gameday Porta-Potties), so keep your hands germ-free, your skin safe from the sun, and always clean up after yourself.

If you’re tailgating in colder weather, pack extra blankets, gloves, scarves, earmuffs and handwarmers for your pockets. Games days can be lengthy, and a day that starts out feeling slightly chilly can dip below freezing by nighttime.

The most important piece of advice: always be a courteous neighbor, stay vigilant, help out if someone needs it and clean up after yourself. Follow these tips and your game day (and hopefully team) will end up a success!

 

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