Spending the day at the beach is one of the most repeated plans in Spain. In the summer months, the Spanish coasts are full of bathers who choose the sea as their holiday destination. These natural spaces become the solution to escaping the oppressive heat. So families and friends with a bikini or swimsuit, towel, umbrella, sunscreen, fridge to store food, and other belongings get ready to enjoy the beach.
However, before setting off laden with food, there are a number of recommendations that must be followed to prevent food from spoiling due to heat. And it is true that during these outdoor excursions, be it on the beach, in the countryside, or in the mountains, many mistakes are made that can lead to food waste or food poisoning. Therefore, follow these instructions before preparing your fridge or picnic basket.
The Spanish Food Safety and Nutrition Agency (Aesan) recommends never breaking this cold chain when consuming home-cooked food.
Just before leaving, keep any food that needs refrigeration in the portable fridge.
It is better to use ice packs than ice cubes because they will melt in the end and the water will come into contact with the food.
Keep food away from the sun. Make sure that the refrigerator or containers with food are always in the shade.
Do not take out the food until you are ready to eat it.
Do not open the refrigerator all the time; otherwise, the cold will be lost and the food will spoil in the end.
What groceries should you bring?
When it’s hot, it’s always better to opt for light meals. Health reminds us that it must be about foods that help replace the salts lost through perspiration, such as salads, fruits, vegetables, and juices. And if you lie in the sun on the beach, always with sunscreen, you sweat profusely. In addition, on any outing or excursion, you should never forget to take water with you, especially when high temperatures are exceeded in the increasingly frequent heat waves. A very common mistake is to bring already-prepared salads. It is advisable to do this step exactly when you want to eat it; otherwise, it will lose its freshness and spoil. Evidence of this is that ready-made salads from the supermarket come untreated to prevent them from spoiling over time from oil, vinegar, and other spices.
If you bring cooked food, you should keep it in the fridge until the last minute. The Aesan advises against using foods with raw eggs, such as mayonnaise or other sauces. It is better not to choose foods with eggs or dairy products such as yogurt unless you are going to consume them in a few hours, as these are products that suffer greatly from the heat and end up going bad. If you want to make an omelette, the Aesan recommends letting it curdle well. Then store it in the fridge until it’s time to leave, then pop it straight into the cooler.
Separate raw food from already cooked or ready-to-eat food to prevent them from leaking and contaminating other products.
Pay attention to proper hygiene
In addition to these tips on food and its preservation, you should also follow some hygiene precautions to avoid possible poisoning. Consider these tips from Aesan:
Observe proper hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and clear water, and preferably dry them with disposable towels. If there is no source of drinking water, be sure to bring a bottle so you can wash before handling food. Always wash your hands after handling raw food.
Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating, including those with inedible skins.
Use suitable containers for the storage of each food item.
Avoid cross-contamination. When preparing or handling food, it is important to separate raw food from already cooked or ready-to-eat food using plates, knives, etc.