Food Safety Rules for Summer Fun

Playing in the summer sun at the park, pool or backyard party is one of the best parts of summer. Picnic foods are almost as good! Do you know your food safety rules? Here are some simple food safety rules for preparation, transportation and storage!

Food Safety Rules from Start to Finish

In the cooler

  • First, fill the cooler three quarters full of food items. Then, add ice to fill the last quarter of the cooler.

  • If you’re driving to the park or the zoo, don’t put the cooler in the trunk. Put it in the backseat where the air conditioning will still hit it.

  • When you get to your outdoor destination, place the cooler in a shady area rather than the blazing sun.

The great outdoorssummer picnic food safety

  • Prepared food doesn’t last forever outside. Your sandwiches, pasta salads and fruit salad won’t be safe for more than one hour in the heat. Put the food back in the cooler when everyone has finished to keep the bacteria from multiplying.

  • If you can, bring the leftovers inside to store in the fridge.

Home sweet home

  • When you get your leftovers home, store them in a sealed container. Most foods are safe up to four days. If they’ve been outside in the heat for more than one hour, toss them.

  • Label all containers with the date made and the contents.

  • Spoiled foods won’t necessarily look or smell bad. If you can’t remember how long that bowl of potato salad has been in the fridge, play it safe and throw it out.


  • Many of us test the meat on the grill by looking at it or testing its texture by touching it. This method is not a safe one. Instead, use a food thermometer and keep a chart handy for the safe temperatures for each type of meat.

  • It can be tempting to skip washing your produce if you’re planning to peel it. Think twice. Your paring knife can still carry bacteria from the peel into the inside of the fruit. Run all fruits and veggies under tap water before peeling and cutting.

Check out our Tailgating Infographic for healthy choices to take with you to your next picnic or tailgate. Follow TITLE Boxing Club on Pinterest for healthy eating tips and motivation posts!


  1. says

    One idea is to freeze water bottles. Then place them in the cooler. They serve double duty keeping food cold and later you can take them out and drink the water.
    Good article idea for summer.

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