The Best Way to Transport a Cooked Turkey and Other Holiday Foods (Part I)

If you’re bringing food to grandma’s house for the holiday’s then these tips will be helpful to ensure the quality of it when it gets there.

We might not go over the river and through the woods anymore, but lots of us still go to Grandmother’s house at holiday-time with a dish or two to put on the Thanksgiving table. And that presents an issue that can affect your health: how to keep cold foods cold, hot foods hot, and all food safe to eat.

Make sure your Thanksgiving table doesn’t have unwelcome guests. The microorganisms that produce food poisoning. Many folks think that picnics are the only meals where food poisoning may occur, but the organisms that create food poisoning thrive any time of year at temperatures from 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F. Don’t leave foods in that danger zone for over two hours. 

Safety When Transporting Food

Pack cold foods for transporting in an insulated cooler with ice packs. Insulated casseroles are good for transporting hot dishes. Also, you can wrap securely covered hot foods in layers of towels and transport them in insulated carriers. Fill holes around the food containers with towels or crumpled newspaper to stop spills and shifting.

Possibly the best thing to do when toting hot foods, like sweet potatoes or green bean casserole, is to completely cook them the day before and let them cool at room temperature. Wrap or cover them securely then refrigerate overnight. The next day, put them tightly in a cooler with ice packs or ice and just reheat them when you get to your destination.

Now, side dishes are one thing to transport. They’re small and really simple to manage. But what if your plan is to transport the turkey to Thanksgiving dinner at a table other than yours? If it’s across town or around the block, you can just cover it tightly with foil and transport it.