The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Eating Outdoors

Posted by in Holidays

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Picnic Safety)

It’s picnic time! Many folks will be outdoors this weekend waiting to watch the skies light up, as burgers and dogs and steaks and every possible cut of meat, fish, vegetable, and even fruit finds a place on the grill.

Warm weather and outdoor cooking is a match that just makes sense. Picnics, backyard barbecues, tailgating … many of us get giddy just thinking about them. (Don’t even get me started with ice cream and popsicles.) We know lots of you have fun outdoor things planned this weekend. And we love ya, so we want you to enjoy and be safe. Which brings us to this week’s topic:

Do you have any outdoor food safety tips to share?

Nanci’s dad is a food safety expert, so we tapped him for his top suggestions. These may be basic to some, but they’re still good reminders.

1. Don’t baste with marinade that’s been used to marinate raw meat, at least for the last few minutes of cooking.
2. Refrigerate leftovers quickly. Don’t leave them sitting out for hours.
3. Wash the outside of melons very well before cutting, so your knife doesn’t drag any nasty germs into the melon flesh. (TK member Terri mentions this too.)

Now let’s hear from you. Share your tips below so we can all be safe this weekend! (And if you have a story to share to drive home your point, you know we want to hear that too.)



Comments are closed for this recipe.

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Nanci (TK) on 7.4.2014

I always hesitate to make anything mayo-based but I really love these salads at this time of year. These are some great ideas. And I have never seen the mesh food tents but I’ll have get some. Thanks for all of the tips!

Melody on 7.3.2014

I’m with Kim. I love mayo and sour cream based salads so have a cooler I keep just for setting them out. It has a lid which is good for transport but is one that comes completely off. It has a drain in the bottom for draining off just enough of the melted ice to make room for more. Cold water keeps it colder but you don’t want the dishes floating and tipping over.

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Patricia @ ButterYum on 7.2.2014

I like to bring foods to picnics in thermal/insulated dishes that stay hot or cold for several hours. I also like to use mesh picnic covers to keep bugs out of the food. I have to agree with others who suggest staying away from mayo based salads.

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Cathey on 7.2.2014

I really try and stay away from cold mayo salads during hot weather, whether I’m serving 6 or 60. I like to make cold bean salads, corn salads, grilled vegetables. Most important everything gets covered with a food tent (mesh), no buggies by my food. I also make 2 or 3 of everything, this way everything is cold when presented, and no risk of anybody getting sick. When guests are finished eating, I throw everything out. That’s my plan when making multiples of everything, if they are hungry later I always have fresh cold in the fridge and a hot grill to go with it.

When we go to an invite I always bring a couple of bean salads (cold). I never eat a mayo based salad out. Once you’ve been bitten by food poisoning bug at a friend or families home, you would do the same.

Enjoy the long weekend all.

Tara w on 7.2.2014

I never thought about washing the watermelon! thanks for the tip!

Glenda on 7.2.2014

We use a small ice chest to put hamburgers and hot dogs in. We first put hot water in it to heat it up. Wipe dry and it keeps the meat hot and flys away. As soon as lunch is over we bag the leftovers and put in the fridge.

Kim M on 7.2.2014

I always have a large plastic container that I fill with ice and I put smaller containers of mayonnaise-based foods or sour cream-based dips onto the ice, nestling them down in to keep the bottom and sides cold which keeps them well-chilled for the duration of the party. I keep an eye on the ice and add more as needed to keep the food properly chilled and everyone safe. An instant-read thermometer is always at hand to check hot and cold foods to insure proper temperature control.

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C. L. ( Cheryl ) "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser on 7.2.2014

Happy 4th of July Everyone!!! Watching the children close to or near an outdoor gas grill or charcoal grill is so important. The in-ground pool; watching that the babes have safety wings on their arms and parents watching them is a priority. I do not use much mayonnaise based foods on the 4th, in the Florida (hot, hot) sun; even in the shade they will spoil-pronto. The kitchen Island seats 8 and we have a large screened in porch, veranda, lanai, plenty of room to spread out. Food safety is very important as we will be eating, swimming (after a rest in between) more eating, more swimming, with the great gang of family, friends, and food!!! Then watching the fireworks!!! Be safe everyone…CLW