When it comes to cooking outdoors, one of the biggest concerns is keeping food safe. When summer arrives, a good number of families head out to the great outdoors. People travel to the beach or spend time hiking and camping. You may also plan on fishing. Although it's quite fun, making sure the fish you catch are well-prepared and stored away properly should be a number one priority. It's easy to get sick from improperly prepared, cooked and stored food. Here are a few tips for keeping fish food safe.
Keep Hands Clean
Keep germs, bacteria and any other food borne pathogens at bay by cleaning your hands thoroughly before and after cutting fish. Hand-washing is the number one way to keep safe, but if you're camping or hiking, try another method. Use a good antibacterial cleanser or wipes to cleanse your hands.
Use a Bag to Dispose of Garbage
You need a sturdy bag or container for putting fish parts and scales as you cut. This keeps your preparation area clear and free from dangerous cutting accidents as well. Also, put the garbage in a wildlife resistant container if camping, or store in a cooler until you get home.
Keep Stomach Contents from Fish
When you clean fish, always make sure to keep the stomach contents from the rest of the fish. If you accidentally get anything from the stomach on your fillets, wash it immediately. Also, be careful of getting other internal organs on the fillets.
Put Clean Fillets on Ice or Store in an Iced Cooler
Put the cleaned fish fillets or whole fish in a cooler or container filled with ice. Fish must be kept cold, especially in warm or hot temperatures. This goes for boating trips. Bacteria and other germs love fresh meat of any kind and tend to grow well in warm environments.
Clean Cutting Area
After cutting, cleaning and preparing your fish for cooking, clean the area thoroughly. Wash the cutting board and utensils in baking soda and water. Put them aside to dry in a clean area. Use wipes to clean hands if hiking or camping. Try to wash hands if possible.
Cook Fish Thoroughly
Although fish is a tasty and healthy food, it contains small parasites and bacteria unseen to the naked eye. The only way to kill these organisms is by thoroughly cooking the fish or freezing it. If you're out hiking or camping, then cooking becomes your only safe option. Also, bring along a food thermometer. Cook fish until it has an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dispose of Leftovers
Don't leave any leftovers; cook only what you need. If you're camping in an area known to have animals around, they will smell the food. Clean up any dishes you used. Dirty dishes attract insects you really don't want on your camping or hiking trip.
Fishing is a great addition to any outdoor activity. Follow these tips for a safe and happy experience.