Food Safety and You - Pack a Safe and Healthy Picnic

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Pack a safe picnic

For a simple picnic:

  • Make sure the cooler is filled with ice or ice packs.
  • Return chilled foods to the cooler right after serving.
  • Wash your hands with hot, soapy water before handling food.
  • Adults should supervise handwashing for children.
  • Make sure you have lots of paper plates, napkins, utensils and clean dishes to hold foods.

For a cookout:

  • Separate storage bags and containers during transportation, and make sure the containers are sealed properly so raw meat and poultry juices do not leak onto fruits, vegetables, and cooked foods.
  • Wash your hands with hot, soapy water before handling food.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure you cook foods to a safe internal temperature.
  • Return leftovers to the cooler with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs within two hours of serving — one hour if the day’s temperature is above 90 degrees.

Pack a healthy picnic

For a simple picnic:

  • Pack your picnic basket with lots of colorful, seasonal fruits and vegetables.
  • Use raw vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini and celery as appetizers and serve hummus or salsa as a dip.
  • Prepare cool salads filled with chopped vegetables and tossed with light, low-fat dressings instead of potato salads and pasta salads.
  • Choose drinks like water or 100 percent fruit juice instead of sugary sodas.
  • Serve sandwiches or burgers on 100 percent whole wheat bread or buns to add whole grains.
  • Try angel food cake topped with fresh berries for a refreshing dessert.

For a cookout:

  • Take along vegetables like colorful peppers, zucchini, onions and portobello mushrooms to put on the grill.
  • Grill burgers made with lean beef or ground turkey breast or go for a veggie burger.
  • Dress grilled burgers with lots of fresh vegetables, like lettuce and tomatoes, and use avocados in place of mayonnaise.
4/20/2018 8:18:55 PM
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