To keep food safe from harmful bacteria when picnicking, consumers should follow four basic but important steps:
1. Remember to clean; wash hands, utensils and fresh fruits and vegetables.
2. Keep raw meat, poultry, eggs and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods, and don’t contaminate plates or utensils.
3. Cook food to the proper internal temperature, and check for doneness with a food thermometer.
4. Keep food chilled by packing a cooler with several inches of ice, ice packs or containers of frozen water; the recommended ratio is 75 percent food to 25 percent ice.
Detailed food safety information is available at vdacs.virginia.gov/food-food-safety.shtml.
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