The key to a safe tailgate picnic is keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. This requires planning and a few basic guidelines.
•Pack food in airtight plastic containers or bags that seal tightly and will not break.
•Layer sealed containers on the bottom of an insulated cooler, putting heavier items in first.
•Chill all cooked foods in the refrigerator before packing them in the cooler.
•Pack highly perishable foods directly next to ice in the cooler.
•Secure items such as bottles and jars to prevent breakage.
•Transport the cooler in the interior of the car, not the hot trunk.
•Place cooler in the shade and keep the lid closed. An iced-down cooler will keep perishable food cold for a few hours but not all day in the hot sun.
•Serve food in the team spirit by using baskets, buckets, and trays lined with fabric or linens in your school’s colors.
•Serve food with paper or plastic plates and utensils; cleanup will be easy.