The unofficial start of summer will be here soon. Make sure your picnic is safe and enjoyable.
Summer is a good time to refresh our memory about food safety. Follow these simple tips for an enjoyable season, free from food poisoning.
- Keep cold food cold: Cold food should be kept below 40 degrees to prevent bacterial growth.
- Keep hot food hot: Hot foods should be kept above 140 degrees to prevent bacterial growth.
- Don’t eat food that has been left at room temperature for longer than 4 hours. This includes summertime favorites like salads, cold cuts, and cut watermelon.
- Don’t eat food left at room temperature longer than 2 hours if the weather is very hot. If the air temperature is over 80 degrees, eat food within 2 hours or chill it to below 40 degrees.
- Don’t reuse the chicken plate when grilling! Or the hamburger plate, or the steak plate – you get the idea. If raw meat has been taken to the grill on a plate of any kind, use a clean plate to bring the cooked items to the table.
- Don’t eat raw eggs or raw meat: Cook thoroughly before eating. Don’t eat foods containing raw eggs or raw meat: No raw eggs in salad dressings, no raw steak, no raw eggs in cookie dough.
Good picnic safe foods include peanut butter sandwiches, cheese sticks, fresh fruit, sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, homemade pickles, and all of your favorite traditional picnic foods, if kept at the correct temperature.