A family having a picnic

5 ways to a food-safe summer picnic

Avoid food poisoning from your summer picnic

5 ways to a food-safe summer picnic

When the sun is shining, there's nothing like enjoying a cocktail sausage or mini quiche in the park. But like keeping your skin safe with sun cream you need to keep your food safe too.

According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) There are more than one million cases of food poisoning every year in the UK with cases of food poisoning from Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella rising in the summer months.

Picnickers could be putting themselves at risk by leaving their food out for longer than the recommended two hours, or carrying food to picnics in containers such as plastic bags and picnic baskets, rather than the recommended cool boxes.

Thinking about going for a picnic? Here are some easy tips to keep your fun day out with food, safe:

1. Clean up first

Rinse fresh fruits (including those with rinds) and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cool box.

2. Keep cold food cold

Place cold food in a cool box with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 5 °C or below to prevent bacterial growth.

3. Organise your cool box

Pack drinks in one cool box and perishable foods in another. If using freezer packs (frozen drinks work well for this purpose), distribute them throughout the box – not all at the bottom!

4. Keep your cool box closed

Once at the picnic site, limit the number of times the cool box is opened as much as you can. This helps to keep the contents cold for longer.

5. Pack away your picnic

Once you’ve served it, dishes should not sit out for longer than two hours, or one hour if it’s very hot outside. After this, the risk of bacteria increases and it becomes unsafe to eat, so best to throw it away when you get home. Pack away food so that your guests are not tempted to nibble later. To waste less, pre-plan portion sizes according to the size of your party and only pack what you need.

Feeling inspired to create the perfect, alternative picnic? Stock up on everything you'll need at Asda or pop into your local store