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Publication: I'm Not Martha
Picnic Essentials

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         I'M NOT MARTHA - Thursday, August 30, 2007

Help yourself to some great self-help videos on: evtv1.com

Hi! I'm Lizzy!!  and I'm not Martha!!!

Who doesn't like a picnic? When you combine good food and 
company with fresh air and sunshine, you're free to throw 
fuss to the wind. But the recipe for a successful picnic 
doesn't end there. You'll need a variety of basic supplies 
within easy reach throughout the duration of your outing. 
And while a picnic should be laidback, you'll want to follow 
a few important safety rules.

P.S. If you're interested we now have a forum. You can post 
comments on this and recent issues at... Not Martha forum

* Picnic Essentials

Whether you're planning a picnic to celebrate an occasion 
or simply enjoy a pleasant summer afternoon, it's easy to 
make each picnic unique. The food, candles, flowers, games, 
music, and other diversions you bring add a special touch. 
But no matter the occasion, most every picnic requires some 
basic essentials. Consider the following:

* For Transporting and Storage

Cooler fully stocked with ice or ice packs
Picnic basket
Food storage containers

* For Safety and Comfort

Picnic blanket or tablecloth
Low-standing picnic table
Cushions or pillows
Folding chairs
Antibacterial gel
Insect repellent
Anti-allergy medication
For Serving

Napkins/paper towels
Bottle opener/corkscrew
Plenty of water/beverages

* For Cleanup

Towelettes/paper towels
Trash bags

* Picnics and the Great Outdoors

Choosing where to picnic can be half the fun. Whether your 
dining destination is your backyard, a local park, or a 
nearby beach, just follow common sense and a few important 
guidelines to ensure the great outdoors stay great.

* Be Responsible When Using Public Lands

You can help to take good care of our public lands so that 
others may enjoy these areas for years to come by practicing 
some of the following actions:

Don't Litter. Take along a trash bag or other receptacle 
for collecting your trash so that you can deposit it in the 
proper trash receptacle.

Make sure that you are using the correct type of picnicking 
or outdoor cooking equipment permitted in that area. Check 
with your destination ahead of time for seasonal fire or 
campstove restrictions that may be in place.

Don't picnic in areas where you are not permitted. These 
areas have been declared "off limits" to picnickers to 
protect wildlife, vegetation, or for your safety.

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* Personal Safety While Picnicking

Be sure to follow these safety tips when planning a picnic 
in an unfamiliar area:

Check with local park, forest, or public lands agents to see 
what precautions need to be taken in regard to storing food 
away from wildlife. Do not feed the local wildlife!

Take precautions against picnicking in an area that may be 
dangerous in case of sudden flash floods. Check with local 
rangers to find a safe and legal picnic area.

Remember to take along non-perishable food items.

Be courteous and remember that you are sharing public lands 
with other picnickers and recreationists.

Do not picnic on unauthorized areas.

Bring along extra safety items such as water, flashlights, 
maps, and a cell phone or radio.

* Picnics and Food Safety

Although it may seem we pack too much before heading out on 
a picnic, they'd be quite a bit safer if we could actually 
pack the kitchen sink. Food spoilage and cross-contamination 
are real concerns when eating food outdoors in warm weather 
without the use of a kitchen. Be sure to follow these tips 
to ensure your picnic is a healthy one.

Keep Everything Clean
Find out if there's a source of potable (safe drinking) water 
at your destination. If not, bring water for preparation and 
cleaning; or pack clean, wet, disposable cloths or moist 
towelettes and paper towels for cleaning hands and surfaces. 
Cross-contamination during preparation, grilling, and serving 
food is a prime cause of foodborne illness.

Always wash your hands before and after handling food, and 
don't use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked 
meat and poultry. Soap and water are essential to 
cleanliness, so if you are going somewhere that will not 
have potable water, bring it with you. Even disposable wipes 
will do. Include lots of clean utensils, not only for eating 
but also for serving the safely cooked food.

Keep Hot Food Hot and Cold Food Cold
It's essential to keep hot food hot and cold food cold 
throughout the duration of your picnic. Holding food at an 
unsafe temperature is a prime cause of foodborne illness. 
Already-hot summertime temperatures can spike higher in 
direct sunlight. Store coolers in the shade whenever 
possible. Food should not be left out of the cooler or off 
the grill more than 2 hours (1 hour when the outside tem-
perature is above 90 F).

Carry cold perishable food like hamburger patties, hotdogs, 
luncheon meats and chicken in an insulated cooler packed 
with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs. Be sure raw meat and 
poultry are wrapped securely to prevent juices from cross-
contaminating ready-to-eat food. Perishable cooked foods 
such as meats, chicken and potato or pasta salads must be 
kept cold, too. Don't stock the cooler until immediately 
before leaving home. Keep the cooler in the coolest part of 
the car when traveling.

* The Danger Zone
Most bacteria do not grow rapidly at temperatures below 40 F 
or above 140 F. The temperature range in between is known as 
the "Danger Zone." Bacteria multiply rapidly at these temper-
atures and can reach dangerous levels. Raw meat and poultry 
products may contain bacteria that cause foodborne illness, 
especially when exposed to this temperature zone. They must 
be cooked to destroy these bacteria and held at temperatures 
that are either too hot or too cold for these bacteria to 

* Take-out Food
If bringing hot take-out food such as fried chicken or bar-
becue, eat it within 2 hours of purchase. Or plan ahead and 
chill the food in your refrigerator before packing it into 
an insulated cooler.

* Grilling
If you plan to use a grill on your picnic, remember to pack 
a food thermometer. Check that your meat and poultry reach a 
safe internal temperature. When reheating food at the outing, 
be sure it reaches 165 F. Cook only the amount of food that 
will be eaten to avoid the challenge of keeping leftovers at 
a safe temperature. Discard any leftovers that have not 
remained cold.


Questions...Comments...? email Lizzy


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