Picnic Food Safety

Summer is quickly approaching which means long, lazy days of sunshine.  Cooking in a hot kitchen might not seem like fun when it is hot, so plan a picnic or two during the summer months!  You really don't need to get fancy.  Picnics can be as simple as spreading a blanket on a nearby patch of grass. 

Have plenty of water to drink to help keep everyone cool.  Slice up a lemon or lime and freeze the slices ahead of time, then toss them in a big jug of water.  The frozen fruit will lightly flavor the water and help keep it cold.

Always think about food safety when you plan the food for your picnic.  Most food is only safe to eat for a short time after it is either taken out of the refrigerator or off the stove, so pay close attention to what you'll serve.
  • If you are going to serve any type of cold salad, be sure to keep these on ice or in a cooler.  You will want to toss out any leftovers when you are done, so only bring along enough for your family to eat right away. 
  • Remember:  Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!
  • Foods that can be enjoyed at room temperature are great choices like whole fruits and vegetables.  In the summer months, fresh local peaches, watermelon, and cucumbers are available and affordable.  Always wash the outside of the fruit or veggie, then slice it just before you are ready to serve it.  Take along only enough to finish at your picnic.
  • Do you need healthy ideas for picnic foods?  Check out a previous post here for more healthy picnic foods to pack for your family.
And, if you are making meat on a grill, always put the cooked meat on a clean plate (not the plate that held the raw meat).

Bring along some games to play outside, too.  That will get the whole family moving.  Heave an active and food-safe summer!

For more information about food safety, visit:

USDA Food Safety
Eating Outdoors, Handling Food Safely -- FDA
Picnic Eating and Outdoor Dining


1 comment

  1. Great article. More tips on www.servingsafety.com


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