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To keep your food cool, safe – and in pretty much the same condition as when you packed it - during a day at the beach, pack food snugly and in layers – heavy, solid things on the bottom, and soft, more fragile things on top of those. Wrap foods well in plastic wrap, baggies or foil to protect it from melting ice and condensation – soggy chips are not very satisfying, after all! To have the coolest food and drinks possible, and prevent losing your ice over the course of the day, pre-chill food and drinks. Keep your cooler or lunch bag out of the sun, and make sure that you keep the lid closed tightly. Keep perishables – such as foods containing meat and dairy, for example - closest to the ice. Put ice or ice packs at the top of the cooler – cool sinks, so this will help keep everything chilled. Finally, avoid opening the cooler frequently, since this will let out the coolness and will hasten the warming of the cooler's contents.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|