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Memorial Day

Memorial Day
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (most recently observed May 29, 2006). It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911.

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Memorial Day Vacation

Memorial Day Vacation Food Safey
* By Barbara Ingham
* (608) 263-6383

MADISON, Wis.— On your Memorial Day vacation, whether you travel by car or recreational vehicle, whether you are headed for the beach or a mountainside, be sure to include food safety in your travel plans.

The “road” to Memorial Day vacation food safety can either be bumpy or smooth – depending on what precautions you take in handling meals on the road this summer, says Barbara Ingham, University of Wisconsin-Extension food scientist. According to Ingham, “Just a few common-sense rules can make the difference between a vacation to remember, and one that is remembered because people got sick from improperly handled food.”

Plan Ahead. When traveling with perishable food, place it in a cooler with ice or freezer packs. Pack drinks in a separate cooler so the food cooler is not opened frequently. Have plenty of ice or frozen gel-packs on hand before packing the food. If you take foods such as meat, poultry, eggs and salads along, plan to keep everything on ice in your cooler.

Pack Safely. Pack perishable foods directly from the refrigerator or freezer into the cooler. Meat and poultry may be packed while frozen to stay colder longer. A full cooler maintains its cold temperature longer than one that is partially filled. Be sure to keep raw meat and poultry wrapped separately from cooked foods, or raw foods such as fruits.

If the cooler is only partially filled, pack the remaining space with ice, fruit or non-perishable foods such as peanut butter and jelly or hard cheeses. For long trips take along two coolers -- one for the day’s immediate needs, such as lunch, drinks or snacks, and the other for perishable foods to be used later. Keep the cooler in the air-conditioned compartment of your car, rather than in a hot trunk. Limit the times the cooler is opened, and open and close the lid quickly.

In addition, Ingham offers these food safety tips:

When Camping, Boating or at the Beach for your Memorial Day Vacation..

Keep perishable food cold. Remember, food sitting out for more than two hours may not be safe. And when the days warm up to above 90 degrees F, food should not be left out for more than one hour. Don’t eat anything that has been sitting out in the hot sun -- a real invitation to foodborne illness and a spoiled vacation.

Keep the cooler in a shady spot and cover it with a light colored blanket, tarp or poncho to reflect heat. Bring along an extra cooler for beverages, so that the food cooler isn’t opened as often.

Keep hands and utensils clean when preparing food; disposable towelettes and gel hand washes work well for cleaning hands while on vacation.

When grilling out, cook meat and poultry to a safe temperature. Packing a food thermometer, along with the grill and charcoal will help to ensure both safety and quality.

Pack the right kind of food and treat leftovers carefully. Food that is non-perishable, food that is dried or canned or doesn’t need refrigeration, works best on vacation. Plan carefully to avoid leftovers, or save space in the ice chest for leftover food.

If you are planning on fishing, pack an extra cooler filled with ice for the harvest of fish that you will catch. Fish will be of highest quality if gutted and cleaned as soon as they are caught. And make sure raw fish stays separate from cooked foods. Raw fish deteriorates rapidly, so plan on eating any fish that you catch within two days, or freeze fish for longer storage.

Just a few simple steps for a ‘food safe’ Memorial Day vacation. For more information, contact the USDA nationwide, toll-free Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854); for the hearing-impaired: (TTY) 1-800-256-7072. Or contact your county UW-Extension office.

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