End of the Summer Cooler Tips Keep cold food cold. Letting food sit at unsafe temperatures puts you at risk for foodborne illnesses.
* Perishable foods that are normally in the refrigerator, such as luncheon meats, cooked meat, chicken, and potato or pasta salads, must be kept in an insulated cooler with freezer packs or blocks of ice to keep it at 40 degrees F or below.
* Refrigerate or freeze food the day before you pack it for a trip.
* When packing a cooler, put your meat or poultry on the bottom, and then pack food in reverse order, so that the foods packed on top are the ones you expect to use first.
* Keep the cooler in the coolest part of the car, and place it in shade or shelter, away from direct sunlight. Also keep the cooler closed as much as possible.
* Consider using one cooler for beverages and another for perishable foods, since the beverage cooler is likely to be opened more frequently.
* Put leftovers back in the cooler as soon as you are finished eating.
* Discard all perishable foods once the ice or freezer packs in your cooler have melted and when in doubt...throw it out.