In college football, the Kansas State Wildcats opened at home tonight in Manhattan with a somewhat boring 34-14 victory over San Jose State. The Cats are full of surprises, and not always good ones. When you think they have the other team in check, they give up touchdowns, like in the 4th quarter tonight.
The same is true of K-State tailgating. We tailgated tonight in Cat Town with some of Doug’s lab members. First we ate brauts at the Veterinary Medicine tent, and then we found burgers at Animal Science. Angela asked me where the meat thermometers were, and I replied, “I’m sure they’re in that box with their cooking equipment.” We didn’t see one, so I proposed that maybe they had a standardized cooking procedure with pre-frozen patties and a clear cooking time charted out. Doug said that when they saw him arrive, the cooks called out, “Don’t worry. They’re done!” (We found out later that they use pre-cooked burgers; so indeed, they were done.)
We then went to a private tailgate party where the pregnant hostess, when introduced to Doug the Food Safety Professor, said, “We always try to keep things really safe here!” I didn’t look for thermometers there. By then my stomach was too full to even think about a cookie.
We’ve been thinking about tailgate publicity and reality research possibilities, like meat thermometers with Willie the Wildcat on them and final cooking temperature charts on stickers. Or tonight I thought it would be cool to have backpack coolers with cooking temps printed on them. We like slogans like, “Get‘r done,” and “Stick it in.” I also liked Andrew’s blogpost with the “Heat ‘em up, eat ‘em up” battle cry. But since we have a blog with, hopefully, a few readers, I thought I would put the question out to you. What would compel you to practice safe food handling at a tailgate? There are so many distractions, limited facilities, no running water in the parking lot, and plenty of people coming by and dipping into food unexpectedly. It’s delicious, and not just from the microorganisms’ point of view. Please share your comments, questions, and ideas on tailgating safely.
Post a comment below.
[pictured is a KSU branding iron (not a thermometer) with this description: "Your sizzling hot Original Barbeque Brand Tailgate Tool can sear the pride of the K-State WIld Cats into most any food item. It’s for more than just meat! Buns, tortillas, potatoes, pie crusts, let your pride run wild!"]