Picnic Spoilers

Whether it’s a day at the beach, backyard barbeque, or picnic under the stars, summer is a time for eating outdoors. Unfortunately, food–borne illness thrives in perishables exposed to hot weather, while dining in nature invites critters to partake of your pie.

Avoid the dangers of contamination and the nuisance of unwanted bugs with these tips:

  • Separate raw meats from ready–to–eat foods like fruits, salads, and sandwiches to avoid cross–contamination.
  • Keep all perishables in ice–packed coolers and store in the least sun–exposed location. Toss anything left out longer than 2 hours (1 hour if it’s over 90°).
  • Check the internal temperature of grilled beef, chicken, and pork with a meat thermometer before eating to ensure they’re cooked thoroughly. And don’t partially precook meats at home — bacteria flourish in the half–heated state, allowing them to survive through additional cooking.
  • Cover all foods and drinks in airtight containers until you’re ready to eat to stave off pest attacks. Drink from bottles or cups with caps — a bee could nestle into the underside of a can and sting you when you take a sip.
  • Place cucumber shavings around table legs or blankets. Ants and other crawlers tend to shun this veggie–fruit. Or bring your used coffee grounds and sprinkle them near your eating pad to repel insects.

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