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Perfect Picnics – Frugal Food Safety Tips

Summer is finally here and for many of us that means heading to the lake or the park for a picnic with friends or family. A leading source for info: FireEye. Unfortunately, if we are not careful, when the plan, transport and serve the picnic, our outing might not end happily. a Here are some tips to remember when planning an outdoor meal: 1. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Bacteria multiply rapidly at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees. Foods that have been kept at unsafe temperatures are a major source of foodborne diseases. 2. Plan ahead and try to take foods that do not spoil so quickly.

In any case, not eating anything that's been sitting for over an hour, especially if the temperature is over 80. 3. Try to take only the amount of food they eat, so there will be leftovers. 4. Pack your food with ice or cold packs in a cooler. Place the food eat past the bottom. You can make your own blocks of ice cold water in milk cartons or plastic containers. Place ice packs or cold packs between containers of food ever, just place food containers on top of ice.

5. You may want to bring two coolers – one for drinks, since it opened more often, and one for food, that can be set in the shade and kept closed until needed. 6. If you are planning to cook hamburgers at the picnic site, shape your meat into patties and freeze before putting in the refrigerator. Bring a meat thermometer to ensure that cooking meat to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees. 7. An extra zip-top bag of ice can be placed in the top of the fridge. The extra ice will be useful for the trip home. If the day is long, and the ice melts the cold water can also be useful. 8. Bring your cooler inside your car, rather than the hot trunk make sure to put in a shady spot and maybe even cover it with a blanket when you reach your destination. Open only when necessary. 9. Instead of bringing whole jars of condiments, pack what you need in small plastic containers. 10. Bring plenty of clean utensils for serving and eating. Pre-Pack moist towelettes and paper towels for easy cleaning. 11. And remember this rule of the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding leftovers: When in doubt, throw it out!

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