What better way to celebrate a perfect summer day than with a picnic in the park, at the beach or even in your own backyard. Besides selecting favourite foods and beverages, it's important to be safe when handling food. Here are tips to stay safe before, during and after your delicious picnic:
- Create a simple menu such as sandwiches or wraps, prepared raw vegetables and fruit, easy-to-eat treats such as cookies, and beverages. Or, pick up a pizza and bring it too.
- Assemble two cooler chests (one for beverages and the other for perishable foods) with ice or freezer packs, one insulated pack if you bring warm foods (such as fried chicken), clean utensils and necessary dishes, storage containers, paper towels, cloth napkins, and trash bags. The rule of thumb with transporting food is to keep cold food cold and hot food hot.
- Package foods in separate containers and wrappings – so there's no cross-contamination of meats and fruits or vegetables.
- The cleaning experts at MOLLY MAID recommend that you pack disposable wet wipes or hand sanitizer so you can clean your hands before you start preparing food (and just in case there isn't running water).
- Find a shady spot for coolers.
- Clean surfaces that you are putting food on – and/or use a clean tablecloth.
- If your picnic includes a barbeque feast and you are cooking food on a grill from the frozen state, it will take approximately a 50 percent longer cook-time than it would for fully thawed fresh meat and poultry.
- Never reuse plates or utensils that have touched raw meat – unless you can wash them first in hot soapy water.
- Once you've served hot or cold food, don't let it sit out for longer than two hours or one hour if it's really out. If it does, throw it away.
- Refrigerate leftover meats and salads that have stayed cold as soon as you get home. Discard them into your compost bin if they have been sitting out in the sun all day and have become warm.