Summer Picnic Safety

Every year FBinsure shuts all of their offices down for one day in July.  This is not for inventory or auditing purposes or to save money.  The ownership team closes down on the last Friday in July in order to celebrate their employees and for all of us to spend one work day together having fun.  This Friday, July 27th is that day.  All offices will be closed for the day.

Summer is indeed a fun time where you can spend warm days on the beach, camping, doing water sports, attending sporting events and the ever popular family or company picnic.  Picnics are fun with a crazy amount of food that doesn't exactly stay in line with the summer diets for those of us watching what we are consuming on a regular basis.  One fun spoiler are those pesky foodborne illnesses that usually come out of nowhere due to the relaxed atmosphere of cooking and eating out of doors.

Temperatures in the Summer can get hot but the trunk of your car can exceed temperatures of 150° F, so it’s best to put coolers in the passenger area of your car. Once you have arrived at your destination, place coolers in the shade and keep them closed until you are ready to eat.

Use these tips to prevent foodborne illnesses:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling food and utensils.
  • Unless you are planning to picnic the next day or are freezing food, do not prepare meals ahead of time to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Cool mayonnaise-based foods immediately after preparing them.
  • Do not let food items sit out for more than one hour.
  • While eating, keep foods covered so that insects do not land on the food and spread diseases to you.

Remember that temperature is critical in preventing foodborne illnesses as well.  Keep cold foods at 40° F or colder. If you are at an outdoor gathering, do so by placing your food in an insulted cooler with ice or frozen gel packs.  Hot foods must be kept at 140° F or hotter. To keep containers warm, wrap them in a towel followed by newspaper, and then place them in a box.

Lastly, when cooking outdoors, always cook food thoroughly and right away. Do not partially cook food to finish later. This allows toxins, a harmful form of bacteria that is killed when cooking, to form.