Food Safety Tips for Summer

Summer is prime time for memorable picnics and cookouts with friends and family. But the last thing you want to bring home from these fun-filled outings is food poisoning, so follow these precautions.

  • When packing the cooler or picnic basket, wrap raw meat, poultry and fish separately from cooked foods in airtight plastic containers or resealable plastic bags.
  • It's a good idea to have two sets of cutting boards, grilling utensils and platters—one for uncooked foods and one for cooked items.
  • Pack a meat thermometer to ensure you're grilling meat and poultry to the proper temperature.
  • Prevent the spread of bacteria by washing fruits and vegetables before putting in the basket or cooler.
  • Pack clean foil, plastic wrap and resealable plastic bags to store leftovers.
  • If you won't have access to soap and water at the picnic, bring along moist towelettes, antibacterial soap that doesn't require water or a spray bottle with soapy water.
  • Hot foods should be eaten within 2 hours of being made.
  • Remove foods from the cooler just before cooking or serving.
  • Food should not stand out longer than 2 hours. (On days above 85 degrees, 1 hour is the maximum.) Promptly store hot and cold leftovers in an ice-filled cooler. If no ice remains in the cooler when you get home, play it safe and discard the food.
  • View Summer Recipes >

    View Picnic Recipes >