Have a Safe Summer Picnic

Smart serving and storage steps for dining alfresco

Having a picnic or cookout at a park or a beach may be a summer tradition, but it poses some food safety challenges

more on summer eating

The basic rules still apply, such as using a thermometer when you’re grilling meat or fish to make sure it reaches a safe internal temperature, and not letting food sit out for more than 2 hours (an hour if the temperature outside is 90° F or higher). But there are other lesser-known steps to take if you want to keep food poisoning off the menu.

To reveal our tips, click on or hover your cursor over (or tap, on mobile) the black dots on the illustration below.

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Editor’s Note: A version of this article also appeared in the July 2021 issue of Consumer Reports On Health.


Headshot of Consumer Reports James E. Rogers, Director, Food Safety Research & Testing

James E. Rogers, PhD

My love for microbiology began when I received my first microscope when I was 9. Since then, my passions have ranged from researching pathogenic bacteria to keeping our food and water supplies safe. In my spare time, I cook, read detective novels, watch auto racing, and work out—even if it does not look like it.