Summer Picnic Safety Tips
It’s no wonder July is National Picnic Month; after all, summertime is the perfect season for an outdoor picnic.
The long sunny days and warm weather are perfect for outdoor fun. But with the hot summer temperatures comes an extra ounce of precaution to avoid unfortunate events.
Our helpful tips will go a long way to prevent food poisoning, sunburns, insect bites, and more.
Harmful bacteria can quickly grow on food when stored incorrectly. To prevent this, remember to:
- Keep your food in insulated coolers. Reserve at least one-quarter of the space in your cooler for ice or ice packs. This will help maintain adequate food temperatures
- Before you pack your food, sanitize your cooler and always store your food in clean, tightly sealed containers
- Pack raw meats separately
- Make sure to wash all your fruits and vegetables at home in case you don’t have access to water at the picnic site
- A pro-tip is to put a thermometer in your cooler so you can monitor its temperature. Make sure the temperature never goes above 40°F
- Pack your beverages in a separate cooler. This will not only help prevent cross-contamination but will make it easier to maintain the right temperature for your food as the cooler won’t be open as frequently
- Don’t repurpose ice. Make sure not to use the ice meant to keep food fresh in any of your beverages to prevent possible cross-contamination
- Don’t let food sit out. Only take out the food when you are ready to cook it or consume it. Make sure to repack any leftovers and put them back in the cooler as soon as possible to prevent bacterial growth
Being outdoors during the summer months means we need to be vigilant of the sun and the high temperatures. Keep these tips in mind when you are dining alfresco:
- Apply sunscreen at least 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun
- Remember to reapply your sun protection every 2 hours
- Try to stay out of direct sunlight during peak sun hours from 10 am to 4 pm
- Stay hydrated. Make sure to pack plenty of drinking water and fresh fruit to help keep you hydrated
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes
Insects and wildlife abound outdoors. It’s not unusual to have ants, bees, flies, and other creepy crawlers crash your picnic, and less frequently, some larger animals can also stop by for a bite to eat. Taking the right precautions can prevent bites and other unfortunate interactions with nature.
- Apply insect repellent to any exposed skin and on your clothing. Be careful not to apply the repellent close to your eyes, nose, and mouth
- DEET (N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is the active ingredient in most repellents. When ingested, it can cause stomach irritation, nausea, and vomiting, in some rare cases seizures and even coma. Therefore, please don’t spray repellent directly onto your face. Instead, spread it on your hands and carefully apply it to your face
- Wash your hands after applying insect repellent
- Keep foods packed in containers to prevent attracting animals
- Don’t engage wild animals that may come near your picnic site
Picnics are the perfect summer activity. It’s easy to maintain physical distance from others, making it ideal for spending time with friends and family. Just practice caution to avoid accidents.
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