Wow! Is it finally here?? I can’t believe it! Finally time to start thinking about picnics! I thought the snow would never leave! Food Safety’s Recipe for Success can be applied to preparing picnics as well. Why don’t we take a look the main steps in our “Recipe for Success” when planning a picnic.
- CLEAN – Keeping hands and surfaces clean – running water is always best, but WetOnes typically can do the trick for wiping down picnic tables and washing hands if there aren’t any handwashing facilities available. If bringing raw meat to grill, some extra steps will want to be considered. Bringing liquid soap and a cooler filled with warm water is a good option. Hands can then be scrubbed with soap and water. Another option is to bring plastic gloves.
- SEPARATE – While we’re talking about raw meat, I should take this time to discuss the importance of separation. Bring the raw meat in its own cooler, so it doesn’t cross contaminate ready to eat picnic food. An additional measure to be taken with raw meat is to keep various types of meat separated as well. This is due to the different cooking temperatures.
- CHILL – Remember, even raw meat needs to be kept below 41F prior to grilling. Also, all salads, cut fruit, and vegetables need to be kept chilled below 41F (and in their own cooler). One of the items to pay extra close attention to is the temperature outside. As the temperature outside rises, it is important to keep in mind the temperature of the items in your picnic basket or outdoor buffet. Items should not sit out for more than one hour when temperatures soar above 90F.
- COOK – Grill meat to the appropriate internal temperatures (listed below). So, yes….even on a picnic, you should bring your thermometer with you. It is truly the only way to tell if the correct temperature has been achieved.
Coborn’s Food Safety Coordinator
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