Tailgating This Year? Use These Tips for a Safe Event

One of the benefits of living at Trinity Commons in Durham, NC is the opportunity to enjoy all of the sports in our thriving community. With the college scene right around the corner from your apartment, you will quickly become a fan. Enjoying sports, specially fall football, often means tailgating. Here are some tips to help you enjoy a fun and safe tailgating event before the next game.

Grill Smart
One of the biggest risks of a tailgating party is the grill. You can’t tailgate without some burgers or hot dogs on the grill, but an open flame anywhere near a car is always a risk. First, never grill directly on your vehicle, even on the tailgate. A wayward spark could send the entire thing up in flames. Place your grill at least six feet away from all vehicles, including those belonging to others. Choosing a good spot for your tailgate is crucial to making this work, because you’ll need a spot to set up your grill.

Next, make sure you never leave that grill unattended, especially if you have a big group of people or pets coming with you. The grill-master needs to stay by the grill at all times. Finally, make sure your tailgating supplies include a fire extinguisher. If the grill gets out of hand, you’ll need a way to put it out.

Pack the Cooler Safely
A cooler lets you transport otherwise perishable items to the parking lot, but you need to be careful. Make sure that there is plenty of ice to keep the food at a safe temperature and seal your meats so their juices do not mingle with the other foods. Keep the most perishable items, like raw meat and mayonnaise, near the ice, and less vulnerable items, like produce, farther away.

Drink in Moderation
Tailgating often means that the alcohol flows quite freely. Be aware of how much you are enjoying, and do not overdo it. Also, set someone as your designated driver, so you can get home safely after the game. Make sure you provide something fun for your designated driver to enjoy that is non-alcoholic, so they won’t feel left out of the fun.

Keep Food Safety in Mind
A fun tailgate party that ends up with a case of food poisoning is something people will remember for many years, but for all of the wrong reasons. When cooking food outdoors, bring a food thermometer so you can check the temperature and ensure it’s ready to serve. Never re-use platters or plates that held raw meat, because this can cause cross contamination. Once you’re done cooking, use food warmers to keep the food at a minimum of 140 degrees, and have a plan for refrigeration of leftovers when the event is over.

It’s not hard to plan a great tailgate event, but without the right planning, your event could end in disaster. All it takes is a little attention to safety, and soon you and your friends will be enjoying a great time before your next game.