Summer is Here, Some Tips for a Safe Picnic Season
As we move into Summer many of us will be heading outdoors to make the most of the longer, Sunnier days. However, we are not the only ones who like warm weather, and for those who might be planning a picnic the higher temperatures can provide the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.
To ensure your outdoor event is memorable for all the right reasons, we have put together some tops tips for food safety when dining al fresco, as follows:
Keep cold food cold: When transporting your food from home to your destination, keep cold food stored at 40 °F / 4.5 °C and below to prevent bacterial growth. Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs, and remember that cold meat, poultry, and seafood may be packed while still frozen so that they stay colder longer.
Cook food thoroughly: If barbecuing, cook food thoroughly to kill germs that cause food poisoning, and serve food while it is hot. Never let your picnic food remain in the “Danger Zone” — between 40 °F / 4.5 °C and 140 °F / 60 °C — for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour if outdoor temperatures are above 90 °F / 32 °C. This is when bacteria in food can multiply rapidly, and lead to illness.
Prevent”cross-contamination: Don’t reuse plates or utensils when serving food, as serving cooked food on plates that have held raw meat, poultry, or seafood will allow bacteria to spread. Instead, make sure you have packed enough plates and utensils or wash what you need in hot, soapy water before using.
For more information on how to stay safe and healthy this Summer head to the websites of the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and FDA.gov.
To all of our American readers, have a terrific Memorial Day weekend