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Clean Surfaces When Eating Outdoors

Adults grillingNo matter where you are picnicking, it’s still important to keep health in mind. Use these basic tips to ensure that your surfaces are clean and your chosen picnic spot is "food safe."

  • Create a "picnic plan." If you aren’t sure about a source of clean water, bring water for preparation and cleaning, and pack clean cloths or moist towelettes for cleaning surfaces and hands on-site. (You might want to bring latex or vinyl gloves along, too!) Pack hand wipes or hand sanitizer, and a wire brush if you’ll be grilling on-site.
  • Clean surfaces and hands before handling food. Once on-site, clean table and barbecue surfaces before you unpack your food with disinfectant cleaning wipes or a spray cleaner and paper towels.
  • Prevent cross-contamination! Always use clean platters and utensils to transport and serve cooked food. Don’t "repurpose" soiled utensils that touched raw foods without washing them in hot soapy water (or with disposable dish wipes) first. And remember: never place cooked or ready-to-eat food (like fresh fruits and vegetables) on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Bacteria can spread easily from raw meat or poultry juices.
  • Clean the grill. Use a wire brush to remove debris before cooking, and let the fire burn off old food before throwing your "shrimp on the barbie."
  • Watch your leftovers. Food that has been left unrefrigerated/out of the cooler for more than two hours should be thrown away. And if the temperature is 90 °F or above, one hour is the limit! Don’t let it sit out as the picnic festivities continue. When in doubt, throw it out!

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