Date: May 22, 2019

Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers early this evening. Fog patches developing late this evening. Wind southeast 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low 12.


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Serving Food Safely at a Picnic

This page was reviewed or revised on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 11:28 AM

Use these simple guidelines to ensure you and your family and friends have a safe outdoor meal.

Use Non-hazardous Foods

Hazardous foods are those in which food poisoning bacteria grow rapidly if the food is not kept hot (60°C/140°F min.) or cold (4°C/40°F max.).

Boats, cars, bicycles and backpacks do not allow us to bring along the modern conveniences of our kitchen when we pack our picnic baskets. To protect yourself and others from illness, consider using only non-hazardous foods when planning your picnic.

Non-hazardous foods ideal for picnics:

  • nuts and peanut butter
  • bread, crackers, cookies and cake
  • jam, honey, syrup and candy
  • dry cereals and powdered milk (until mixed)
  • raw, cooked and dry fruit
  • raw vegetables
  • pickles, relishes, mustard and catsup
  • dried sausages
  • canned fish and meat (until opened)

If you decide that you need to bring hazardous foods (such as those listed below) on your picnic, be sure to follow the food handling tips as outlined.

Hazardous foods - must be stored and handled properly

  • raw and cooked meat, poultry, and salads containing meat products
  • raw and cooked fish and fish salad
  • cooked vegetables, peas, beans
  • cooked cereals (oatmeal, etc.)
  • custards and puddings
  • milk and milk products including whipped cream
  • shellfish
  • salad dressings
  • processed meats (bologna, hot dogs, ham, etc.)
  • gravies
  • meat sandwich spreads
  • canned meats, fish and combination dinners (after opening)
  • eggs and egg products

Food handling tips for picnic safety

  • Pack food, especially raw meats, in separate sealed containers to protect food from cross-contamination.
  • Keep hazardous foods in coolers which are well insulated and packed with ice or freeze packs. Cold drinks in cans or cartons can also help keep food cold.
  • Transport coolers in the passenger area of the vehicle, not in the hot trunk.
  • Keep the covered cooler in the shade. Remove food just prior to serving.
  • Keep all raw meats separated from other foods. Use separate utensils and plates for raw meats.
  • Remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water prior to preparing foods or eating. If running water is not available, use a gel sanitizer or moist towelette.
  • Use a probe thermometer to ensure that ground beef is cooked to an internal temperature of 71°C/160°F and that poultry is cooked to an internal temperature of 74°C/165°F.
  • Serve food quickly. Return hazardous food to the cooler within 1 hour. Discard all hazardous food leftovers after picnic is finished.