Food Safety Tips for Summer Picnics

The sizzling days of summer are within our midst. And, when it’s summertime, we tend to become a little carefree and relaxed. After all, that’s when loved ones gather to enjoy the various summer picnics and barbecues. Unfortunately, during the warmer months that’s when many cases of food contamination and poisoning occur. And, majority of this happens during the barbecues and picnics. Therefore, it is imperative that we practice food safety tips for summer picnics. Some of the food safety tips to practice are:

Proper hygiene

One of the best habits to practice and follow is the washing of hands with soap and water.In addition, you could try to keep anti-bacterial wipes and paper towels in close proximity so that others can have them at their disposal. Ensure to take along plastic or garbage bags in order store dirty plates, cups, napkins and other items used.

Separate cut boards/utensils

Many food borne illnesses are caused from contamination of cut boards. Therefore, it is adviseable to keep separate cut boards for fruits and vegetables and meats. It is best to use one for fresh fruits and vegetables; and another for meats and poultry. Before consuming, products like water melons and cantaloupes make sure to wash the whole products first. Then, cut up with separate knife from what used for meats/poultry.

Cover foods

When there is an outdoor picnic, unfortunately, there are unwanted guests in the form of flies and other bugs. These insects are carriers of germs that are dangerous to humans. Thus, it is best to keep cooked foods properly covered. The market carries various inexpensive plastic products that you can utilize to keep your foods safe.

Store and cook foods correctly

Keep cold foods cold in the right storage compartment like an cooler until ready for consumption. And, keep warm and cooked foods at the right temperatures so as to preserve freshness. Make sure to cook meats and poultry at the correct temperature per instructions and guidelines. Do invest in a good thermometer.And, when marinading poultry and meats add a little alcohol like beer, wine, or brandy. The ingredients in the alcohol will allow the meat/poultry to preserve longer; and, at the same time provides a tangy and mouthwatering flavor. A little mustard and/or vinegar will help to retain freshness in that potato salad.

Food safety is very important. It’s reported by different health bodies that millions in the United States and elsewhere in the world suffer tremendously due to mishandling and cooking of foods. The emergency room doctors see a huge jump in their waiting rooms due to e-coli and salmonella contamination especially during the summer months. Therefore, before you plan and prepare a picnic for you and your loved ones, it’s detrimental that you utilize the above tips and others so as to keep everyone safe. Bon appetit!