Green Bay, Wisconsin, is enjoying (for some people) unusually hot temperatures for this time of year and for scouts that are camping in extreme heat know the value of staying hydrated and cool during the peak times of day where the sun's rays are the hottest.
But what about keeping your food and beverages cold?
Eggs, fish, poultry and meats need to stay cold in coolers to prevent the sudden explosion of food borne bacteria that can cause potentially widespread issues of food poisoning.
Meats, poultry, and fish requires a temperature of 40 degrees or lower to keep bacteria from growing at an alarming rate which will taint the meat. Eggs require the same temperature as does mayonnaise and other products that contain eggs.
Carrying a thermometer in a cooler will aid in monitoring proper storage temperatures and if just starting out on a camping expedition, packing foods inside a cooler can help reduce the amount of ice required to maintain that 40 degrees.
Powdered eggs and dehydrated foods can also reduce the need for ice but will require extra water to reconstitute the foods for consumption.
Tainted foods are caused through physical hazards, biological hazards and chemical hazards that are introduced to the food stores.
Physical hazards include glass shards, metal shavings, false fingernails, and other objects not intended to be consumed
Biological hazards include bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites.
Chemical hazards are mostly cleaning agents that are improperly used and usually are introduced to food sources through improper cleaning of dishes and utensils.
To prevent food from going bad on you camping trip, select the best meats, vegetables and fruits available and look for signs of decomposition or spoiling at the grocery store.
Never bag raw meats in bloody containers with dry food stuffs or vegetables.
Remember to always keep your work surfaces clean and sanitized before preparing meals and always get your cooks to be diligent in washing hands before and during all stages in the cooking process. Wash dishes immediately following the meals.
Any leftover foods must be chilled and cooled quickly as bacterial growth increases at temperatures above 40 degrees.
Reheating foods and cooking foods must reach an internal temperature of a minimum of 160 degrees to kill any bacteria and guarantee preventing any food borne illnesses.
Never cross contaminate work surfaces with cooked food that once was home to raw food unless that surface has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
Using these tips at camp also can and should be applied at home.