Just like us, germs love picnics – and picnic food. Bacteria really like dairy, meat, fish, and shellfish, but any moist food that is between 41 degrees and 145 degrees will do.
Given enough time and the right conditions, bacteria can take over your potato salad or leftover carnitas. Eating food with a lot of bacteria growing on it can make people sick, especially kids and pregnant women.
Here are some tips for a safe picnic:
- Bring hand wipes or a water jug, soap, and paper towels to keep hands clean.
- Don’t reuse plates or utensils that touched raw meat.
- Keep cold food at 40 degrees or colder. Use ice or frozen gel packs.
- Keep food coolers closed as much as you can.
- Put drinks in a different cooler than food.
- Wash fruits and vegetables at home.
- If you’re cooking meat outside, use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s done.
- Don’t leave food out for more than 2 hours.