Summer Picnic and BBQ Safety Essentials:Title. Double click me.

The warmer temperatures in summer provide a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, and for many people this means barbecues and picnics.  However, warmer weather also means that bacteria can grow more quickly on food, so it's critical to prepare, save and store foods with extra care.

  • Although the heat from cooking kills bacteria effectively, ambient temperatures rising above 8 degrees Celsius actually stimulate further growth of bacteria - and the warmer the weather, the faster bacteria can multiply.

  • Keep track of the foods that have been served. Wrap and refrigerate anything that is not consumed within the first hour - particularly foods made with milk, eggs, mayonnaise, cheese, fish, meat, poultry, etc.

  • Its okay to put warm foods directly into a cooler or the refrigerator, as long as they aren't so large or dense that the size inhibits cooling at the core. In cases when it's impractical to reduce the size of the foods portions (such as soups, roasts, etc.) place the container in a tub of ice or a sink full of cold water to help lower the temperature quickly prior to refrigerating, thereby reducing the risk of bacteria growth.

  • When packing for picnics, keep containers of consumables (e.g. soda cans) away from raw food. Wrap raw food separately and pack at the bottom of the cooler, with ice packs on top. If you are driving, do not pack your cooler of food in the trunk - it gets too hot back there. Also, be sure to being hand sanitizer or anti-bacterial wipes.