June 01, 2019

Picnic safety

A picnic is a great opportunity for fresh air and outdoor fun. Don't let health risks put a damper on it. To enjoy your picnic safely:

  • Clean produce — Scrub fruits and vegetables well, even when the outside isn't eaten.
  • Chill well — Store perishable foods at 40 F or lower. Use an insulated cooler with ice or cold packs. If packing for a long outing, consider using two coolers — one for food and the other, which may be opened more often, for beverages. Keep coolers out of direct sunlight. Replenish ice as needed.
  • Shield sweets — Desserts or foods with natural sugars attract bugs. Keep them covered.
  • Repack promptly — Discard any perishable foods that were left out for more than two hours, or for more than one hour in hot weather. If there's still ice remaining in your cooler when you get home, the leftovers should be safe to use. If in doubt, toss them.
  • Plan for hand-washing — If a restroom facility isn't available, pack a water jug, soap and paper towels. While hand sanitizers eliminate most germs, handwashing is recommended if your hands are visibly soiled.
  • Protect yourself — Shield yourself from sun exposure with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Reapply regularly and dress in sun protective clothing. Also...