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Picnic pests

It’s summertime and the perfect time for a picnic. Outdoor eating and grilling are fun, but not if you get unwanted visitors like ants, roaches, flies, birds or mice.

These hungry “visitors” eat just about anything and can spread bacteria like E. coli or salmonella if they land on your food. They feast on animal carcasses, feces and garbage, so you really don’t want them to spread bacteria to your food. Yuck!

Picnic pests can ruin your picnic if you don’t take proper precautions:

• Bees and ants just love food with high-sugar content, like soda, BBQ sauce & marinades, and sweet, yummy deserts.  Clean up spills, and keep items   well-covered.
• Pack your food in zippered bags or covered plastic containers.
• Once you open your food, keep it covered with foil or plastic wrap.
• Bring extra zippered bags to save or dispose of properly.
• Roaches and rodents are attracted to garbage, so bring a garbage bag and dispose of your trash quickly after eating and away from your site.

Common sense for keeping foods free of bacteria:

• Wash your hands and surfaces often. Use soap. Water alone will not clean your hands or contaminated surfaces.
• Don’t cross contaminate your foods. Use separated cutting boards and utensils.
• Cook your food thoroughly and use a thermometer to double check temps.
• Don’t leave the food out! Refrigerate (or put in your cooler) leftovers quickly as possible.  The summer heat can ruin them quicker than you can imagine.

Enjoy your picnic or BBQ and remember to keep it covered and keep it cool. Don’t let those pests bug you. Plan ahead and you will have a great day!

~Bon Appétit!

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