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Football and Tailgating Season Safety Tips For Central Florida

Experts In This Article

We Are Here To Answer Your Tailgating and Football Season Safety Questions

The highly anticipated return of football season is finally here! At the Law Firm of Michael T. Gibson, we want you to stay safe while cheering your favorite team to victory this year. Many of us begin the pre-game festivities by tailgating with family, friends and fellow fans. However, when crowds and large amounts of alcohol are involved, the likelihood of injuries and accidents always increases. Don’t be put on the injured list this tailgate season speak with a personal injury attorney to review your best options for recovery.

What are some safety tips for fans to remember this football season?

  • Do not drink and drive. Know your limit when it comes to alcohol consumption and always be prepared to use a designated driver or call a cab to get home safely.
  • If you are tailgating, opt for non-breakable, recyclable containers.
  • When preparing food, do not cross contaminate. Keep raw meats separate from your vegetables by using separate cutting boards and knives. Keep anti-bacterial hand sanitizer in reach at all times.
  • Cook food thoroughly. Bacteria grow quickly at temperatures between 40°F and 140°F. When tailgating, make sure to bring a metal bucket for still-glowing coals and make sure your grill is extinguished properly.
  • Have detailed directions to the stadium to avoid getting lost and have a plan for parking. Arrive four hours before the game starts so you have plenty of time to set up. Plan to eat two hours before the game so you leave time to clean up.
  • When setting up your tailgate, make sure you have separate coolers for food and drink and label these accordingly.
  • Remember to eat. Whenever alcohol is consumed, make sure food is as well.
  • Check the weather. If you are heading to the stadium, be prepared for the unexpected. With warmer temperatures, pack plenty of sunscreen and water and always pack a poncho in case it rains.
  • Protect your valuables. Whether you are heading to the local sports bar or a live game, keep your wallets, purses and mobile phones with you at all times to avoid theft.

What are some food safety tips to remember when setting up your tailgate party?

  • Keep food at safe temperatures. Cold foods must be kept below 40 °F, while hot foods must be kept at 140 °F or higher.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling raw meat. Have separate cutting boards and utensils for your raw meats. Securely wrap all meat, poultry or fish that may leak before placing them in the cooler. Make sure these foods are at 40° F or below.
  • Pack foods in well-insulated coolers and use plenty of ice to keep foods cold.
  • Use separate coolers for drinks. Keeping the food cooler closed will allow it to retain at a colder temperature.
  • Pack what you can the night before and have a list of items you can check off as you pack.
  • After you have arrived at your tailgate site, never let food sit out, especially in hot weather. Use a digital food thermometer when grilling to ensure you cook ground meats to an internal temperature of at least 160°F; steaks to at least 145°F, pork chops and tenderloin steaks to at least 160°F, and chicken to at least 180°F.
  • When cleaning up, discard food that has been left out for more than one hour in temperatures exceeding 90°F, or has been sitting for more than two hours.

What are some safety essentials to remember at Your Next Tailgate Party. 

  • First Aid Kit
  • Grilling Accessories
  • Extra Charcoal
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Digital Food Thermometer
  • Oven Mitts
  • Plenty of Ice
  • Trash Bags
  • Soap and Water
  • Paper Towels
  • Mini-Flashlight
  • Masking Tape
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Ponchos
  • Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Metal Bucket for Still-Glowing Coals

10 Tips To Stay Safe This Tailgate Season

  1. Stay Sanitary
    Tailgating often involves the grilling of various foods including burgers, chicken and other meats. Cross-contamination and not properly cleaning items can be hazardous. Thoroughly wash your hands, utensils, cutting boards and other surfaces where raw meat has been. Use disposable paper products to minimize spreading germs.
  2. Fully Cook Foods
    To ensure everyone’s health and safety, make sure you follow the guidelines for thoroughly cooking foods. Different meats have different cooking guidelines for safe consumption. Ground meats should reach an internal temperature of at least 160°F, steaks at least 145°F, pork chops at least 160°F, and chicken should reach at least 180°F.
  3. When in Doubt, Throw it Out
    Certain foods parish quickly and if you come across a questionable item, it is best to err on the side of caution. Spoiled foods can cause food poisoning. Discard perishable foods that have been left out for more than one hour in hot temperatures and more than two hours in cooler temperatures.
  4. Be Prepared in Case of a Fire
    With grilling comes the risk of a fire. Dangerous fires can occur on or nearby grills if not properly maintained. Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher and a bucket of water nearby in case of a fire.
  5. Have a First Aid Kit on Hand
    Tailgating is a busy event that often includes grilling over flames, cutting foods with a knife, and transporting heavy coolers or items. Any one of these acts could result in unexpected injuries. Always pack a first aid kit as a precaution.
  6. Stay Protected from the Sun
    Prolonged sun exposure can cause overheating, dehydration and heat stroke- especially in Florida. Protect yourself from the harmful rays by wearing plenty of sunscreen. Also, consider a tent or canopy for additional protection from the sun.
  7. Keep Yourself Hydrated
    Common dehydration symptoms include headache, dizziness, fatigue, and excessive thirst. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, even in small amounts throughout the day. Drinks with high amounts of sugar and alcohol can contribute to dehydration.
  8. Stay Together
    Socializing is a major part of the tailgating experience. For your safety, utilize a buddy system and notify friends if you have to step away. With all of the excitement, tailgating parties can become rowdy and crowded. Safety is best in numbers.
  9. Have a Designated Driver
    Alcohol is another common component at tailgating parties; therefore, a designated driver is a must. Before beginning the pre-game festivities, make sure your designated driver is selected and some basic guidelines are established to prevent drinking and driving.
  10. Properly Maintain Trash and Debris
    With crowds and moving traffic, uncontained trash and debris can become dangerous and distracting. Aluminum cans and glass especially, can cause injury and serious damage to your vehicle. For everyone’s safety, keep discarded items and trash out of roadways and walkways.

Questions About Tailgating Safety and Injuries?

If you have questions or comments about any of the Tailgating Safety and Injury questions found on this page please call us today at 407-422-4529.

2420 S. Lakemont Avenue
Suite 150
Orlando, FL 32814
Phone: 407-422-4529

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