Going on a picnic is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors. When preparing for a picnic, it is not enough to grab a blanket and throw in your favorite meals into a basket.
You should always remember to safely pack for your picnic. Food as well as personal safety should always be on top of your mind when planning to spend time outdoors.
Below are tips that you can put to good use when packing for a safe picnic.
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Don’t bring foods that easily spoil
If you can avoid it ditch foods with mayonnaise, eggs or meats which can easily spoil. But if your picnic experience will not be complete without a serving of potato salad and other foods that easily spoil, make sure to put these items in well sealed containers.
Place these containers in a cooler full of ice. If grilled meats are in the menu, never half-cook the meat. Instead, keep them in a cooler packed with ice. Never ingest the ice that was used to keep food items cool.
Pack several coolers
Raw meats and other items should be kept far separated from cooked items. Keep these in two different coolers with ice or well chilled ice packs. Your drinks should be in a separate cooler, too. Make sure to tightly close the cooler so that the cold packs remain cold for a long time.
Place the coolers in a cool section of the vehicle. When you get to the picnic area, place the cooler in a cool spot away from direct sunlight. Avoid opening and closing the cooler. Only open the coolers just before grilling (if you are barbecuing) or eating.
Keep your ice clean
If you plan to add ice to drinks, keep the ice in a separate, clean cooler. Put a clean plastic cup on top or a scooper to dig out the ice later on.
Use plastic wraps, aluminum foil and re-sealable plastic bags
Foods, especially sandwiches, should be wrapped first in plastic wrap before wrapping them in foil. Use different sizes of re-sealable plastic bags to store your snack items like dried fruits, nuts, chocolates, crackers and more. Items that need not be kept cold should be placed in well sealed containers.
Check the food items
Before you eat, inspect the foods to make sure they have not gone bad. Discard any spoiled food properly. After eating, discard leftovers if these leftovers have been out in the heat for some time. Otherwise, you might get food poisoning if you still eat them.
Prepare clean and sanitized eating implements
All your plates, utensils and cutting boards should be washed and dried. Store them in a clean container or basket lined with clean kitchen towels. The utensils can be placed in a separate clean and sealed container.
Pack a first aid kit
Bring a standard first aid kit with bandages, antiseptics and other items to treats wounds. Make sure you have medicines to treat bug bites as well as allergies. Don’t forget to bring sunblock if you plan to stay under the sun for a long time. Don’t forget disposable wipes, anti-bacterial gels and other items you can use for sanitizing your hands.
An enjoyable picnic is one where you and your loved ones eat clean and safe food and drinks. It is also about being prepared in case simple medical issues arise. Safely packing for picnic gives you less things to worry about. Have a stress-free picnic by following the tips above. Enjoy your time outdoors!