Christina’s Household Hints: Outdoor Food Safety Tips


By Christina Shoup

Now that we are all spending more time outside, here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe and healthy at your next picnic.

• Keep clean: Use a separate cutting board for raw meat. Be careful not to contaminate utensils on surfaces that have held raw meat. Wipe surfaces often.

• Keep portions small: When serving food outdoors, use several small platters instead of one larger ones. Have backup platters prepared in the refrigerator to replace when needed, so no food is sitting out too long.

• Use ice: Serve highly perishable foods on platters over ice, such as mayonnaise-based salads, eggs, lunch meats, or shrimp, and replace ice often. A vinegar-based potato or pasta salad can sit out on its own (see below for an alternative to a traditional mayo-based potato salad).

• When your picnic comes to an end, keep a two-hour time limit in mind regarding your exposed foods. A good rule is, when in doubt, throw it out.

Zesty Potato Salad

  • 4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 cups chicken or veggie broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped fine
  • 3 dill pickles minced
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped herbs (such as parsley, dill, chives)

Bring potatoes, broth, water, and 1 tablespoon of the vinegar to a boil in a covered pot until potatoes are a little more than half-way cooked. Uncover and continue cooking until liquid reduces and thickens (you should not have to drain the potatoes). Transfer potatoes to a bowl.

Wisk remaining ingredients together and add to warm potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.