Family picnics are fun ways to eat packed meals in the garden or open countryside. Follow this picnic food safety advice to avoid spoiling the outing.
PICNIC FOOD SAFETY: It's important to keep picnic food safe outdoors.
A picnic outing full of fresh or cooked food is an easy place for nutritious substances to spoil or go off fast.
This guide is for anyone who is planning on having a picnic or an outdoor barbecue. Following these essential food safety tips for picnics can help prevent food poisoning.
Handling food safely is the most important recommendation. It is the best way of preparing for spoil-free picnics and eating alfresco. Remember also that keeping food products cool is important too.
As a rule, germs and bacteria multiply slower in cooler temperatures. Having picnics and eating packaged foods are typical warm weather events. That presents many opportunities for foodborne bacteria to grow and thrive.
Warm summer temperatures mean the food heats up and germs start to multiply 'rapidly'. Bacteriologists claim the temperature that bacteria grow quickest is 4.4 to 60°C. Bacteria double in numbers every 20 minutes at this temperature range - called the 'danger zone'.
It is important to protect yourself and family from serious foodborne illnesses. The simple food safety guidelines listed below explain the safety rules for picnics. They cover transporting food to the picnic site and serving it on a picnic table once you get there.
Fact: Severe cases of food poisoning increase during the summer months. They include cases of salmonella, E. coli, listeria, and campylobacter. The risks also increase when picnickers:
Most outdoor people like to enjoy summer picnics. But, picnicking without worry needs a little preparation and forethought to stay safe:
Having served the food, and eaten, there are still a few more food safety tips for picnics. Avoid leaving any dishes or snacks sitting out for longer than two hours. In very hot weather the recommendation is no longer than one hour.
The risk of bacteria growth increases after this period. If that happens the picnic food becomes unsafe to eat. Throwing uneaten food away may be the best advice to avoid a poisoned picnic.
Food Safety Tips for Picnics in the United Kingdom