Memorial Day signifies the unofficial kickoff for outdoor activities like camping. Camping can either be a flurry of fun and adventure, or a miserable few days of getting sick in the bushes and being dehydrated. Every summer, thousands of people set out on these camping adventures, and every summer, many become stricken with foodborne illnesses or a parasitic infection. Some of the most common culprits include norovirus, E. coli O157:H7, Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia duodenalis. Such illnesses are not limited to the occasional outdoor excursion; there are many recorded outbreaks at children’s summer camps. In 2007 norovirus struck down dozens of children and staff members in Three Rivers, MI at a local summer camp. Such outbreaks are not new; in 1994 E. coli O157:H7 infected multiple people at a summer camp in Virginia. Since children are more susceptible to these illnesses than adults, it’s especially important that when camping with children care is taken to prevent infection. The most frequent sources of these bugs are improperly cooked meat, cross contamination and contaminated water. Basic camping food safety is similar to kitchen food safety. It’s important to keep meat in the cooler below 40°F. To maintain a low temperature, store the food in a large cooler, in the shade and away from the campfire. Be sure to load up with plenty of ice. Avoid opening the large cooler by storing drinks in a smaller cooler. Make sure meat is packaged properly by putting it in

2 Responses to “Food safety: Keeping the crap out of camping”

  1. Kenzofeis

    “Purification tablets” would be Chlorine I think, be wary of those and use only in emergency..

    Boil the water for several minutes if you can, many bacteria are somewhat heat resistant.
    Cut meat into thinner slices so it heats faster, don’t need to put it into the flames, browned meat contains tar which is a cancerous stuff.
    Do NOT let any food (fish/meat) be exposed to soil or lay it on the grass – lots of lethal bacterias there.
    Have the “latrine” FAR away from the camp (flies & shit)…

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