With the arrival of sunny days, what could be more pleasant than having a picnic with family or friends? Here are some tips for preparing a healthy and risk-free picnic..
Choose foods that do not spoil easily in the heat.
In summer, high temperatures can accelerate the breakdown of certain foods, such as meat, dairy products (eg milk, soft cheeses), mayonnaise, etc. The following foods are good ingredients to add to your picnic basket:
- Cooked or raw vegetables (e.g. carrots, celery, cucumbers, etc.)
- Fruit (e.g. apples, grapes, etc.)
- Whole grains (e.g. bread, pasta, etc.)
- Legumes (e.g. chickpeas, kidney beans, etc.)
- Thenuts, seeds and dried fruits (e.g. almonds, pumpkin seeds,apricots,dates,energy balls based on nuts and dried fruits, etc.)
- Firm cheeses (e.g. cheddar, parmesan)
Don't neglect hydration
In hot weather, water needs are higher. It is therefore important to remember to drink regularly. The water, thecoffee, tea, herbal tea and juices are examples ofdrinks that contribute to meeting daily needs. On the other hand, alcoholic beverages (eg wine, beer, etc.) do not contribute to water intake. Indeed, alcohol has a diuretic effect which can increase the risk of dehydration, especially on an empty stomach. If you consume alcoholic beverages, it is recommended to drink them with food and alternately with water.
Reduce the risks associated with barbecuing
Picnic often rhymes with barbecue. However, cooking meats on the barbecue can produce carcinogenic compounds. Indeed, when the fat from the meat flows over the flames of the grill, it produces smoke and carcinogenic substances, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. To reduce your risk:
- Choose lean fish and poultry rather than meat
- Remove visible fat from meats
- Reduce cooking time by cutting meat and poultry into pieces (e.g. skewers)
- Use marinades with an acidic ingredient (eg lemon, vinegar) and herbs (eg rosemary, thyme).
- Avoid charring the meat
- Wrap food in aluminum foil
- Avoid breathing smoke
Reduce the risk of food poisoning
High temperatures and cross-contamination (unintentional transfer of pathogenic bacteria from one food to another) promote the proliferation of bacteria that cause food.food poisoning. To reduce your risk:
- Keep food out of the danger zone: 4 C (40 F) 60 C (140 F). In other words, be sure to keep cold foods at or below 4 C and hot foods above 60 à 60 °
- Wash your hands frequently, before and after handling food.
- Clean surfaces, cooler, dishes, containers and utensils before and after use.
- Store perishable foods in a cooler or cooler bag with ice packs or frozen water bottles.
- Keep the cooler or cooler bag in the shade and in the coolest place.
- Discard perishable foods that have been left at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating or cooking them.
- Pack food and/or meals separately (e.g. avoid packing raw meat with fruit).
- Cook food properly, especially meat and poultry. It is recommended to use a food thermometer.
- Store leftovers in the cooler as soon as possible.
- Use potable water for drinking, cooking and cleaning.
- Throw away perishable foods as soon as the ice packs are no longer cold.
Reduce your waste
- Use reusable plates, glasses, bottles and utensils
- Bring cloth napkins
- Bring reusable containers for leftovers
- Provide washable reusable bags to bring back dirty dishes
- Provide bags for composting, recycling and waste
- https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Celebrations/What-should-I-put-in-my-picnic-basket-niq.aspxaliaspath=%2fen%2fArticles%2fHolidays-Celebrations%2fQuestion-of -the-Month-What-should-I-pack-in-my-picc