- Make a plan.
Before you have any type of gathering with family or friends, it’s best to come up with a solid plan. How many guests will you be having? How much food will you need? Do you need snacks or do you think it’s a better idea to grill for a larger group? What kinds of drinks will you be having? Will alcohol be made available for consumption? Always remember that, depending on the time of year, the weather conditions will be different. Always dress appropriately for the weather. Finally, don’t forget that emergency first-aid kit and jumper cables in case your vehicle won’t start.
- Food Prep and Storage.
Storing your food items properly is essential in order to prevent food-born illness. If you plan to grill, foods such as burgers and hot dogs need to be cooked at at least 160 Fahrenheit. Foods that are meant to be served cold such as deli meats and bread for sandwiches and subs should be kept in a separate cooler. Do your best to not keep food out for longer than two hours to avoid food poisoning or upset stomachs.
- Safety and Sanitation.
If you’re planning to grill, be sure to bring an apron (you’ll thank yourself later as cooking and food prep can become messy at times). Another essential item to have nearby is a functioning fire extinguisher in case of an emergency. For easy clean-up, elect to use plasticware instead of metal forks, knives, or spoons.
- Don’t forget to have a designated driver.
We understand that it is a common practice to consume alcohol at sporting events, especially tailgates. Speak with your group before your event to see who will be your designated driver. Doing so eliminates concern over the possibility of someone getting behind the wheel while impaired. Additionally, if you choose to drink alcohol, be sure to have plenty of food and time between the time you are spending at the game and the time you choose to leave. We all want everyone to get home happily and safely.
- Heading home.
Before leaving your tailgate area, clean up all forks, knives, spoons, plates and drinks around your area. Examine the area around your vehicle. Look out for glass bottles or any debris that could potentially cause damage to your car. Also, anticipate long lines when leaving. Cars may be bumper to bumper as they move toward the exit. Stay alert and don’t get distracted.