Inner Chef

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Picnic Food Safety

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Picnic time is here and we tend to worry about what foods are safest to leave out, especially during the peak picnic season.

Bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli grow faster in warm temperatures so knowing what foods are safer than others is a must.


Potato Salads

Potato salads that contain vinegar or store-bought mayo are pretty safe because of the acidity, which kills pathogens like E. coli and salmonella. The salad must be dressed for at least 15 minutes.

Hot Dogs

Now, burgers are fine as long as you cook them to the proper internal temperature of 160°…or just go with well-done burgers and avoid the guess work.
Hot dogs are fully cooked before they are packaged.


Dips that are tomato-based or contain vinegar or citrus will discourage the growth of bacteria.


A block of cheddar might get a bit sweaty in the heat, but any cheese that is made with pasteurized milk is likely to be resistant to bacterial growth.

Fruit Pie

Fruit pies tend to be safe at room temps due to the sugars helping to keep the bacteria from multiplying). Steer clear of custard or cream-filled desserts if they are been out for more than a couple of hours.

Fruit Salad

The acidic ingredients in fruit salad including strawberries and citrus tend to discourage bacterial growth in the salad.

Have a craving for watermelon? Make sure to eat it cold to prevent any bacteria on the rind from multiplying to a risky level. Scrub the uncut melon under running water before you slice and serve.




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