Handling food safely outdoors


No matter what you’re serving for your summer holiday celebrations, you’ll want to use these tips from the FDA to make sure you’re not serving up a big helping of salmonella or other food-borne illness with your hamburgers. You want your picnic to be memorable for the fireworks show, after all, not the tummy trouble.

Here are a few of our top tips:

  • Pack beverages and perishable food (meats) in separate coolers so the perishable foods’ cooler stays closed as people reach for cold drinks.
  • Try to limit the number of times you’re opening the cooler with perishable foods so food stays colder.
  • Wash hands before touching any food, and rewash them after touching raw meat.
  • Cook meat thoroughly. (If you aren’t sure what the correct internal temperature for your meat of choice is, check out this chart.)
  • Don’t reuse platters or utensils for raw meat and cooked food. If you’re camping, make sure you have enough platters or plan to wash them thoroughly with hot water and soap between uses.
  • Throw away perishable food – cold or hot – that’s been sitting out for two hours (or just one hour if it’s above 90 °  outside). The FDA recommends keeping cold food at 40 ° or below, and hot foods at 140 °  or above once they are served, if possible.