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Food safety is something to keep in mind when you are dining in warm weather.
- Make sure raw meats and/or eggs are not left at room temperature.
- If you plan to barbeque meats, be careful of cross-contamination that can occur when handling the raw meat, then touching other food. Designate one person for barbequing only, and then everyone else can help prepare the sides.
- If your picnic destination is more than a few minutes away, put all perishable foods in a cooler with ice or a frozen gel pack.
- If you're going to have to be in the car for awhile before arriving at your picnic destination and you don't want to hassle with a cooler, consider going vegetarian for the day, or buy your perishable items once you are near your destination.
A Few Facts about Mayo
Store-bought mayonnaise contains pasteurized eggs and enough salt and lemon juice or vinegar that it actually inhibits bacterial growth. It's a safe ingredient for picnic foods. In fact, the low-acid foods in picnic dishes (like potatoes, chicken, and ham) are actually more susceptible to bacterial growth than the mayo itself. So while you should still be careful about keeping everything cool, don't let that stop you from using all the mayo you like in your picnic sandwiches, salads, and dips!
Good thing! Sandwiches and salads make especially good picnic foods. Bring all the ingredients and let everyone assemble their own. Add a salad of garden-ripe vegetables or fruits to top it all off.