Tailgating against Texas: 7 tips for staying safe ahead of the game

DALLAS – Thousands of Oklahomans and Texans will be spending their Saturday at State Fair Park as OU takes on Texas.

If you aren’t one of those who will be filling up on fair food, you may be tailgating or hosting a watch party at home.

However, experts say there are a few things you should watch out for while preparing for the game.

  • Sanitation problems – Be careful about cross-contamination when it comes to meats. Wash utensils, cutting boards and other surfaces if they come in contact with meat. Also, wash your hands and dry them with paper towels and never place grilled meat on a plate that held raw meat.
  • Grilling guidelines – Use an instant-read food thermometer to make sure all the food is cooked properly. Ground meats should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees, steaks should be cooked until 145 degrees, pork chops at 160 degrees and chicken should reach 180 degrees.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and first-aid kit on hand – When you’re grilling, make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby.If you’re grilling with coals, be sure to douse them with water and let them cool before putting them in your car or a trash can.
  • When in doubt, toss it out – Throw away perishable food that has been left out for more than an hour in hot temperatures or more than two hours in moderate conditions.
  • Use a designated driver – If your tailgating party includes alcohol, be sure to have one or more DDs. Encourage drinking partygoers to have plenty to eat and drink a non-alcoholic beverage between alcoholic ones.
  • Party in numbers – Avoid going through crowds of rowdy tailgaters alone. If you do head off on your own, make sure your friends know where you’re going and when you should be back.
  • Hydration and sun protection – Have plenty of sunscreen on hand and drink plenty of water. Mild dehydration symptoms include headache, dizziness, sleepiness, strong smelling urine and thirst.