CBIZ Sattler Adventure Sports Blog

Insights and tips on how to protect your adventure sports business, giving you and your guests peace of mind.

Ward, Hayden
/ Categories: BLOG Articles

Food Handling 101 for Outdoor Excursions

Campsite cooking with a group

Nothing beats a campsite meal after a long day of fishing, hiking, or whitewater rafting. The long dinners near the water, the nourishing snacks to fuel your energy, and the memories made are hard to beat. However, we often forget the other side of cooking these meals – food preparation and safety. There is always a risk of contamination, injury and allergic reactions.

Food preparation is a key ingredient to a successful outdoor excursion. Reduce the chances of your travelers getting sick by food preparation. Stir in a few of these tips for a fabulous and safe trailside meal.

It Starts With Training

Training your guides is one of the most important steps to catering amazing meals. While some of your guides may be fabulous cooks, others may not know the difference between apples and oranges. Take a test trip with your guides and have them switch off on meals. This is a great time to finalize your menus and teach how to effectively pack.

Prepare Ahead of Time

There are all types of people that want to experience the great outdoors. As you can guess, different types of people can also mean different types of dietary restrictions. While there is a small chance your group doesn’t have any, the most common restrictions are vegetarian, kosher, gluten-free, allergic to tree nuts, and lactose-intolerant. Reach out to your guests beforehand so you can prepare your menu to accommodate them.

Don’t forget to prepare your grocery list, cookware, and dining supplies. Before packing anything, take time to thoroughly inspect the camp stove, griddle, grill, coffee maker, and pots and pans. You never want to send your team out with broken items. During this time, check your dining utensils and plates for cleanliness.

Food Allergies

A food allergy occurs when a person’s immune system incorrectly identifies a food as harmful and creates specific antibodies to fight off that food. The next time that particular food is eaten, large amounts of chemicals are released in an attempt to protect the body. Research suggests that 90% of all allergic reactions are caused by foods, including milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.

Get into the habit of knowing what is in the food you make and order. When shopping and when preparing food, check ingredient labels. Many companies will list if their products are processed in a plant that contains nuts.

Before packing your coolers, find out from your guests if there are any dietary restrictions your staff should know about. If one of your guests becomes ill due to your food, or accidentally ingests a foreign object found in one of the meals, your business could face legal ramifications and suffer irreversible reputational damage.

Keep It Clean

Half of the game is keeping everything clean when cooking outdoors. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends the following:

  • Bring coolers with a cold source. Since it is difficult to keep items hot, it is suggested that you cook them ahead of time, cool them, and transport them cold to be heated up later.
  • Bacteria present on raw meat and poultry can easily spread to other foods. This is called cross-contamination.
  • When transporting raw meat, double wrap or double bag the products.
  • Always wash your hands before and after handling raw meat.
  • Never use the same platter and utensils for raw meat and cooked meat.
  • Always cook all cuts of pork, ground beef and lamb to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. All poultry, hot dogs and leftover meat should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a meat thermometer along with your cooking supplies.
  • Bring disposable wipes or biodegradable soap for hand and dish-washing.
  • Store food in sealed containers to keep out of reach of wild animals.

Make sure you clean up all trash and belongings when leaving your campsite. Always strive to leave things better than you found them so others will get the chance to fully enjoy the beauty of nature just as you have.

The Missing Ingredient – CBIZ Adventure Sports Insurance

Food liability can be a considerable concern. The potential for food poisoning, contamination, injury, spoilage and allergic reactions is ever-present, making continued guest safety a challenge. We are here to help. Food poisoning is covered under our commercial general liability policy.  Request a free CBIZ Adventure Sport Insurance quote  today.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. In an actual claim situation, coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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