Picnic Food Safety Tips from South Tampa Immediate Care

picnic-safetyCooking outdoors and having picnics are some of the great joys of summer, but it’s also important to take certain precautions when transporting and cooking food so that nobody gets sick from food that is spoiled, undercooked, or laden with bacteria. Simply consider the following tips when packing up your picnic basket or heading to the beach for a barbeque, and all of your guests are sure to have a safe, pleasant experience.

  • Pack the right supplies – Being prepared is key when dining al fresco. Make sure you have plenty of instant hand sanitizer, a food thermometer, lots of ice, antibacterial wipes, and enough plates and utensils to go around.
  • Keep cold food cold – Pack food from your refrigerator or freezer into a cooler where it can be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Wrap raw meats tightly so that they don’t come into contact with and contaminate other items in the cooler.
  • Keep hot food hot – If you bring hot dishes from home or grill outside, make sure hot food stays at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot food that won’t be eaten right away can be wrapped and placed in an insulated food carrier.
  • Don’t cross contaminate – Be careful not to use the same utensils or plates for cooked food that you used for raw food. Once any type of implement has been used on raw meat, immediately set it aside in a designated bag or storage container so that it won’t contaminate clean utensils.
  • Keep dishes covered – Whether you’re serving cooked meat, cold potato salad, chips, cake, or a veggie tray, all food that is out in the open should be kept covered at all times. Lightweight screen tents are a great way to keep bugs at bay while still giving your guests easy access to the food.

For more tips on staying healthy this summer and throughout the year, please read South Tampa Immediate Care’s full list of online health articles. If you have any questions about the medical services our walk-in clinic offers, please contact us today.