Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Picnic Safety

Saturday, August 1, 2015 | 9:00 AM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , No comments
Getting outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather is one of the perks of this time of year. If picnics are part of your plans, take caution with time and temperature to make sure nothing spoils your fun. Eating outdoors can be a great way to get some fresh air during your lunch break. Unfortunately, many of us tend to forget some of the basics of food safety when it comes to eating outdoors. To make sure that foodborne illness doesn’t spoil your outdoor eating, follow these simple rules.

Wash your hands
This effective step isn’t always so easy when you are outside. Consider washing your hands right before you head out or bring some hand wipes with you.

Maintain food temperature
Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. The bacteria that can make us sick enjoy the warm weather as much as we do. To keep your food safe from unwanted bacteria, keep food below 40°F or above 140°F. Consider ice packs or hot food containers if you don’t plan to eat your food right away. If you can’t do this, remember that anything left out for more than two hours, or one hour if it is really hot out, should be thrown away.

Handle leftovers carefully
If you bring your lunch outside and have some leftover, put it in the refrigerator as soon as you get back. If you can’t get it into a refrigerator or cooler with ice, toss it. As good as it might have been, the risk is not worth keeping it around.

More food safety tips can be found at homefoodsafety.org.

REFERENCES:Written by Jennifer M. Ignacio, MS, RD Compass Group, North America
August 2015

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