Keep Your Picnic Safe

Eating outdoors in warm weather increases the chance of food becoming unsafe to eat. Pack only what you need. This will lessen food waste since foods kept out for more than 2 hours (1 hour if 90°+F) should be tossed. Follow these tips to keep food safe:

  • Wash your hands and surfaces before, during, and after handling raw food items. Use paper towels to clean up spills.
  • Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw foods separated from cooked foods. Use separate cutting boards for meats and produce.
  • Check temperatures. Use a food thermometer to check the food’s temperature before serving. Watch the food thermometer video, go.iastate.edu/2VJCT3.
  • Keep cold foods cold. Keep cold foods chilled at 40°F or lower. Keep coolers filled with ice. Frozen bottles of water can serve as ice packs. Replace ice frequently if melted.
  • Keep hot foods hot. Keep hot foods hot at 140°F or higher. Wrap and cover foods and place in an insulated warming container until needed.

Learn more about ISU’s food safety programs, go.iastate.edu/MLA6BY

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