July’s National Picnic Month brings many families out to the beach, park, or natural areas for family picnics. Staying safe should be a priority. In addition to insects and sunburn, food poisoning is a risk families face.
These are the four common ways food poisoning happens during a picnic.
Items like potato or pasta salad that are made with mayonnaise must be refrigerated. Pack a cooler with block ice on the bottom. Place the salad bowl on top and surround the edges of the bowl with some crushed ice. This keeps the mayonnaise cold and prevents spoiling.
Raw meats need to be cooked properly. If you’re grilling hamburgers, chicken, or hot dogs at the picnic area, bring an instant-read thermometer, paper towels, and some bleach solution (1 tbsp to 1 gallon of water). Use the thermometer to check internal temperatures of all meats.
Make sure you sterilize the thermometer in between usages. Spray it well with the bleach solution and wipe clean with a paper towel. Cook chicken to 165 and burgers and hot dogs to 160.
Failure to Check or Pay Attention to Recalls
Check food recalls and warnings regularly. Recent recalls have included items like frozen chicken, deli meats/sausages, and flour. Don’t use products that have been recalled.
Foods Are Outdated
Foods have a certain shelf life. If the item is past its prime, there’s always the risk of food poisoning. That jar of mayonnaise that’s in the fridge that smelled okay but expired six months ago could put your family at risk of poisoning.
When you’re making items for the picnic, be sure that you check dates and avoid using anything that expired months ago. It’s best to go through your mom and dad’s fridge every season to check the dates on items.
After the family picnic is over, how often are your parents alone? When you have work, children, pets, and your own home, it’s easy to become overwhelmed also trying to find time to spend with your parents. You may have to limit your visits to every other week. If you live farther away, you may only get to see them once a year tops.
If you hire home care services, you’ll have help and your parents won’t be alone. Caregivers assist their client with housework, meals, and transportation. Home care services providers also offer companionship. It’s a win-win as your parents have someone to socialize with. You have peace of mind knowing the home care services aide is keeping your parent happy and safe.