Picnic Safety

July 2, 2016

Warmer temperatures and long hours of daylight mean families are spending more time outside. When planning for a picnic, keep in mind the following food safety tips to protect your family from food poisoning:

Wash hands: Before preparing food or eating, wash hands with soap and water. If no running water is available, use hand sanitizer wipes or gel.

Pack foods that don’t need refrigeration: Pack healthy snacks like fresh, whole vegetables and fruits, dried fruits, pretzels, crackers, bread, nuts, peanut butter, unopened canned meat, and other foods that do not need to be kept cold. Remember to keep these foods separate from uncooked foods.

Keep perishable food cold: Keep foods such as hot dogs, burgers, chicken, deviled eggs, macaroni, potato salads, or other perishable foods in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs. Keep the cooler in the shade, and return leftovers to the cooler as soon as possible. Discard any leftovers that sit outside in hot weather for more than an hour.

Cook food to the proper temperature: Pack a food thermometer, and cook hamburger to at least 160°F and chicken breasts to 165°F. Never partially cook food to finish cooking later.

Use a clean plate: Served grilled food on a clean plate, not the plate that touched uncooked foods.