Camryn Price, Cater, Melissa W.
The weather is nice, the sun is out, and there is a cool breeze. One can not deny the beautiful spring day that Louisiana is capable of producing. As we are on the cusp of summer, I can almost hear the sigh of relief coming from parents, teachers, and students everywhere who will finally be able to relax as soon as that final bell rings on our new virtual school reality. To get us ready for summer, there are many activities we can do now that are not only relaxing, but easy to do and cost effective. Today, I want to show you how you can make a simple spring day into something more by throwing a picnic.
Whether it’s with your spouse, family, children, or friends, a picnic is a perfect way to make an afternoon more interesting and enjoyable. It is also important to remember safety. I know what you may be thinking - who could mess up a picnic? There are many aspects of handling food that the LSU AgCenter wants to highlight so that you and your picnic crew can stay safe and healthy.
The first step is to plan the meal for the picnic. When storing all of the food, make sure you have a cooler filled with ice to store your cold foods in. Make sure they stay in the cooler with the lid on at all times, except when you are serving them. If cold foods spoil, such as dairy products or meat, anyone consuming them could get very sick.
After you have planned your meal, the next step is to select a location. If you are planning to use a blanket, make sure to choose a location with a minimal amount of ants, mosquitos, and spiders. Try to select a grassy area, either out in the open, or under the shade of a tree. If you go to a place with picnic tables to use, be on the lookout for wasps’ nests and spider webs.
For the foods that do not need to be kept cold, ensure minimum spillage by using sealable containers, such as plastic bags or dishes. For transporting the foods, we recommend using a basket, box, or a crate. These containers help make sure all of the packages stay upright and packed tight. Do as much meal prepping before hand, because the less you have to do at the picnic, the better.
Information adapted from blog post at this link: Food Safety and You - Pack a Safe and Healthy Picnic
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture