Picnicking the Smart Way,
Dr. Brian Wansink (USDA)
Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 40°F or below to prevent bacterial growth. Meat, poultry, and seafood should be packed while still frozen so that they stay colder longer.
Pack beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another. This will prevent the perishable foods from being exposed to warm outdoor temperatures.
Limit the number of times the cooler is opened so as to keep the contents cold longer.
Be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped. This keeps their juices from contaminating prepared and cooked foods or foods that will be eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables.
Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cooler.
For more food safety tips, visit