Picnic Safety: 12 Simple Rules to Prevent Food Borne Illness From Ruining Your Next Family Picnic!

by Jennifer A. Gardner, M.D. on June 28, 2013

What says summer more than a family picnic?

Healthy Kids Co. wants your family to bee healthy and have a happy summer!

To keep the good times rolling, safe food handling must be followed.

Prevent dangerous bacteria from multiplying and causing food borne illness by keeping cold foods cold (40℉) and hot foods hot (140℉).  

Always follow food safety rules at every step along the way to ensure summer fun!

  • Start at home with good kitchen hygiene: wash hands when prepping and handling food (before, after and anytime you handle uncooked meat, fish or eggs). This prevents food that is ready for consumption from being contaminated.
  • While picnicking, keep hands clean when serving and eating foods: use hand towelettes, alcohol gel, or a jug of water to clean hands if no running water is available at picnic site.
  • Chill cold food thoroughly in the refrigerator before packing into cooler.
  • Pack and transport cold food safely in a cooler at or below 40℉ using ice or frozen gel packs.
  • Pack and transport hot food safely in an insulated container at or above 140℉.
  • Transport food inside an air conditioned car, not in the trunk.
  • Keep food cold by placing the cooler in the shade and keeping it closed as much as possible.
  • Pack cold beverages and cold food in separate coolers (to minimize opening the cold food cooler).
  • Begin eating immediately after food is served. Food must not sit out for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90℉. Discard any food if these guidelines are not met!
  • Take only as much food as you will need at the picnic. It is a good habit to discard any food not eaten unless you are certain food will remain cold the entire time.
  • If grilling, follow our safe grilling guidelines.
  • If purchasing take out food for your picnic, use within 2 hours and do not bring home leftovers unless you have a cooler for transport.

With these food safety tips in mind, your family will have a great picnic! We hope you enjoy many fun family picnics this summer. Kids love them and clean up is easy...

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