7 Safety Tips for Summer Picnic Food ...


7 Safety Tips for Summer Picnic Food ...
7 Safety Tips for Summer Picnic Food ...

Who doesn’t love summer picnic food? We love it not just because of its culinary attributes but because a picnic means balmy days, scattered rugs, good friends (or a happy family), relaxation and usually, a beautiful setting. As idyllic as it all sounds, we can’t forget our basic hygiene and safety when it comes to summer picnic food. Did you know in that wonderful song that tells us it’s ‘summertime and the living is easy’, there is also a line saying, ‘there’s a nothing can harm you’. True, unless you take precautions to not make your picnic guests ill. You don’t really want your summer picnic food to be serving up helpings of salmonella!
Here are 7 Safety Tips for Summer Picnic Food:

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Keep the Temperature

The most basic rule of safety for summer picnic food is maintaining the temperature. Hot food should be kept hot (not lukewarm) and cold food should be kept cold. According to the USDA, hot means at least 140 degrees and cold 40 degrees and lower. Use insulated containers – some will react according to temperature and will keep foods hot or cold - and plenty of ice packs.


Keep It Covered

It sounds like a great idea that once you’ve gone to all the trouble of preparing a delicious feast to lay it all out to make it look inviting. Not unless you are prepared to get through a whole roll of Saran wrapping it isn't. Your lovely summer picnic food needs to be protected from those nasty disease carrying flies and insects.


Keep It Clean

Being outside doesn’t give you the excuse for taking roughing it to the extreme. Cleanliness when handling the food is just as important – if not more so – as when you’re in the kitchen at home. If you don’t have water/washing facilities at your picnic site, simply take along bottles of hand sanitizer.


Preparation Separation

Don’t forget to keep utensils, plates and boards used for preparing raw food away from your finished summer picnic food. Cross-contamination is one of the major causes of food poisoning.



With modern barbecues and disposable barbecues, grilling away from home is an easy process. Barbecue makes great summer picnic food, but make sure it is cooked properly. It isn’t any different grilling at a picnic to grilling at home.



Even if food is covered in saran wrap, don’t leave it out in the sun too long after serving it up. Cold food once it’s off the ice will soon begin to warm up and apart from not tasting very nice, this is the perfect breeding ground for nasty germs. Once everyone has had enough pack the cold food back into the ice. There’s not much you can do with hot food once it’s been emptied out of the thermal containers so either put it in plastic containers or throw it away.



Have plenty of garbage sacks on hand for clearing up any leftovers and uneaten food. Don’t leave plates lying around with half eaten meals. This one is important for the kids – if they are running off to play between taking bites of food, you need to keep their plate covered. Summer picnic food is best eaten just after it’s served.

There’s no need to panic about keeping your summer picnic food safe and good to eat. Most of these tips are no different to the practices you operate everyday in your kitchen at home. It’s all just common sense really – basic food health and safety.

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