Warmer days are here and it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy fresh air and time with friends and families. When dining outside it’s important to keep food safety top of mind to keep yourself and those with you safe.
Pick the perfect spot
Whether you’re going to a park with a picnic bench or sitting in your backyard with a blanket you need to make sure there’s room to spread out. All food should be able to be served safely and for this to work you’ll need some space. Plan ahead for the perfect spot (or area) and come prepared to set up with everything you need!
Prep meals beforehand
The less you have to prep at the picnic the better! In a kitchen you can control who is touching the utensils, spreads, etc. and it will be easy to assemble sandwiches, salads and meals involving more prep. Do so in the safety of your clean kitchen so when you get to your perfect picnic spot all you have to do is plate your food and enjoy!
The NY Times suggests “when planning your menu, think of dishes that do well outside, like finger foods. Get some pita chips and some potato chips and make some dips.” We definitely agree! Having a planned out menu that you can safely share can offer fun options for everyone while keeping them safe.
Be aware of food temperatures
Some of the top foods consumed at picnics include fruit, sandwiches, and snacks. It’s important to pick foods that are easy to regulate their temperatures. If you are serving hot dogs or cooked meats, you should be doing so in a grill nearby or be aware of how long they are sitting out.
If you are bringing food that needs to be cool, make sure your cooler has the right amount of ice and doesn’t thaw out. Planning your menu and being aware of keeping things at the proper temperature will help in the long run. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food safety!
Avoid public BBQ pits/ cooking areas
You don’t know who’s used these public cooking areas so there’s no way to guarantee they’re clean or safe. Your best bet is to prep everything at home or bring food that can be easily assembled on site.
Getting outside and enjoying a picnic is one of the best ways to spend time during those warm summer months. Keeping food safety top of mind can help keep you and your guests safe. Planning ahead can be a fun way to get excited about your picnic and also offer you opportunities for creativity.