Packing up a picnic and heading outside is a wonderful way to have fun and enjoy quality time with your family this summer. While planning your picnic, it is important to keep in mind food safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of people experience foodborne illnesses each year. More than a hundred thousand will end up in the hospital, and approximately 3,000 will die as a result of the illness. By using a few simple tips, you can protect your senior, as well as the rest of your family, from the potentially devastating consequences of foodborne illness and infection while enjoying a picnic together this summer.

Use these tips to prevent foodborne infections while picnicking this summer:

  • Be sure your hands are clean before and during preparation of the food for the picnic
  • Bring along hand wipes and hand sanitizer so you can clean your hands and the hands of the rest of the diners prior to the picnic
  • Keep raw and cooked foods separate during preparation, storage, and serving. This is especially important for meat, poultry, and seafood
  • Remember that transit time counts in the length of time it is safe to leave perishable food out of refrigeration. Days with temperatures under 90 degrees allow for 2 hours out of refrigeration, and over 90 degrees requires food to be refrigerated or disposed of after 1 hour
  • Do not transfer perishable foods such as meats, eggs, or salads prepared with mayonnaise in a picnic basket. They should be stored and transferred in a cooler with cold packs
  • Do not store food and drinks in the same cooler. Each time the cooler is opened for someone to get a drink, they are introducing warm air, which puts the food at risk
  • Avoid transferring coolers in the trunk. This is a very warm environment that can put food at risk, even when there is ice or cooling packs present
  • Keep food that will be cooked on premises in the cooler until it is time to put it directly on the grill. Do any marinating ahead of time

Being a family caregiver for an elderly loved one does not mean having to take on all of the tasks and responsibilities yourself. Instead, you can rely on the personalized services of a home care provider. Knowing this professional care provider is with your parent can give you peace of mind that they are receiving the care and support needed to keep them safe, healthy, and comfortable as they age in place. These services can be highly beneficial when you are unable to be with your parents, but can also offer benefits during activities with your family. A care provider can act as a source of support for your senior during activities such as picnics, so you can focus on hosting the event, taking care of your children, and enjoying yourself, while your senior has the care they need as well.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Maple Grove, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.