Food items for your outdoor picnic

When you are bringing food items for your outdoor picnic keep in mind these points:

  • Put beverages in one cooler, and perishable food items in another.
  • Make sure that raw seafood, meat and poultry tightly wrapped to ensure that their juices aren’t contaminating prepared food items or food consumed raw, such as vegetables and fruits.
  • Rinse fruits and veggies under running water prior to packing them. Rub the firm skin of fruits and vegetables in water while rubbing with a vegetable brush. Dry the freshly cleaned fruits and vegetables using the use of a paper towel.
  • If you are traveling, store coolers in a cooler area in your vehicle instead of in the hot trunk. Limit the amount of times the cooler is opened.
  • Keep cold food items cold. Place cold food items in coolers with ice packs and keep it at or under 40 degrees.

Cooking outdoors using a grill is another classic summer activity many people enjoy. It’s an opportunity to gather together, relax eating good food, and have a good time. Here are some safety precautions to remember while working on a grill in the summer temperatures.

Be aware that when cooking outside make sure you clean your hands! You can use moist towelettes or a water jug, soap and paper towels.

While cooking Keep these tips in your mind:

  • Clean up all the utensils and dishes clear when you prepare food.
  • Wash your hands after touching raw meat!
  • Use utensils to handle cooked meat.
  • Do not place cooked meat on surfaces that have uncooked meat.
  • Insert the meat thermometer into the center of the meat and check the temperature to ensure your meats are cooked to perfection. To test hot dogs take a step from the tip of the hot dog to the middle. Be sure to not pass the thermometer into the meat, and don’t touch the cooking surface or it will give an inaccurate high temperature.

If serving food outside:

  • Clean up all burned or charred portions of food prior to eating.
  • Serve the first meats that have been cooked first. Make sure the food is consumed before the temperature drops to below 140 degrees F and within 2 hours.
  • Hot food items should be kept at or over 140°F. Wrap well and place in an well-insulated container.
  • Cold food items should be placed on ice and stored at or below 40degF.
  • Foods such as chicken salad and desserts can be placed directly on ice , or in an ice-filled container that is set in a large pan filled with ice. Remove water as melting ice forms and replenish ice often.
  • Do not let food sit for longer than two hours. On hot summer days (temperatures above 90 deg F), limit the time to one hour.
  • Do not re-use plates that were previously covered with uncooked meats on them except if the plate was thoroughly washed using hot soapy water.
  • Cleanse your hands thoroughly prior to serving. Use a utensil when serving food.

More Tips…

  • Garbage cans should be covered to prevent flies from entering. Throw away food wrappers, dirty plates and garbage immediately.
  • Do not use fly sprays or paper. They could contaminate food. Codeage supplements at RideAid
  • Keep all food out of the sun; place on a shaded area.
  • Place cups, plates and food containers covered until you are ready to use them.
  • Avoid touching plates and cups where food is placed. Use the handles of cups, plates, rims and bottoms of plates.
  • Hair that is long should be tied back or wear a cap to stop hair from falling into food.
  • Ample paper towels are available to wash hands, clean work surfaces and your picnic table.

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