Heading out for a day on the lake or a picnic in the park? Follow these quick tips for a simpler way to eat outside.
- Cold foods should be stored at 40⁰ or below to prevent bacteria growth.
- Hot foods should be kept hot – above 140⁰.
- Once unpacked, never let foods remain beyond 40⁰ and 140⁰ for more than two hours, or one hour if outdoor temperatures are above 90⁰.
- Keep coolers closed as much as possible or limit the number of times the cooler is opened.
- Pack beverages and perishable foods in separate coolers. As people open and close the beverage cooler more frequently, the perishable foods will not be exposed as often to the warmer outdoor air.
- Pack colder foods at the bottom of the cooler.
Tips provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- Chill out – Use frozen water bottles as ice packs to be used as drinks once they have melted.
- Melon pop – Avoid a mess by inserting a wooden craft stick into fresh watermelon slices before serving.
- Wrap it up – Use household items like parchment paper, kraft paper and twine to keep sandwiches assembled during transit.