Why is picnic food an annual food safety topic? There are three reasons why picnic food can be hazardous, according to North Carolina State University Food Safety Specialist Angela Fraser:
- Picnic foods (salads, sandwiches, hamburgers and cut fruit) receive a lot of handling during preparation, which increases the risk of bacterial contamination;
- Some foods are precooked before reaching the picnic area and not immediately cooled after the initial cooking. This is similar to temperature abuse, which promotes bacterial growth;
- Equipment to keep hot food hot and cold food cold is often not used at picnic sites creating another opportunity for temperature abuse.
Visit the MSU Food Safety Blog in coming week for tips on how to keep picnic food safe.