It’s Picnic Time!

Now that warm weather is here to stay for the season, it’s time to think about a family picnic. Following safety tips for handling your picnic foods is the way to keep the fun rolling — and keep food poisoning out of the picture. 

  • Plan ahead. Pack a food thermometer, a cooler with ice or freezer gel packs, plenty of clean utensils, storage containers for leftovers, paper towels and trash bags. Find out ahead of time if you’ll have running water, grills, picnic tables and trash receptacles at the site.

  • Thaw meat properly. Don’t thaw it on the counter overnight. Thaw food in the refrigerator or cook it from a frozen state.

  • Wash your hands before preparing food.  If running water is not available, use disposable hand wipes.

  • Cook meat and poultry to a safe temperature as measured with a food thermometer. Just because a hamburger looks done on the outside doesn’t mean it is done on the inside.

  • Serve food items from the grill on a clean platter.  Don’t use the same plate and utensils for cooked food that were used for the raw food.

  • Be smart with leftovers. Unpack that cooler as soon as you return home. Refrigerate leftover meats and salads that have stayed cold. Discard if they have become warm.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Anisha Bhadla