Summer has finally arrived and it’s time to embrace the season of outdoor activities…and outdoor eating. Unfortunately, summer weather can also create the perfect opportunity for bacteria to grow on foods that aren’t handled properly.

NSF International – a nonprofit organization that is committed to protecting public health and safety by developing standards and certifying products against those standards – would like to share a list of its top tips for picnic and grilling safety. These tips are helpful guidelines on how to protect your family from food-borne illness, and keep your outdoor eating fun and safe this summer.

1) Put perishable foods (i.e. hot dogs, cut fruits and salads) in individual containers on the bottom of the cooler with ice packs on the top:

This method provides the best insulation for foods that need to remain cool and helps prevent cross contamination. Transport uncooked meats in a separate cooler from ready-to-eat foods

2) Put cold drinks (i.e. sodas, juices, etc.) in a separate cooler:

This method avoids having the cooler containing perishable foods being constantly opened and closed.

3) Carry the cooler in the passenger area of the car:

Keeping the cooler in the passenger area instead of in the trunk allows the air conditioning to help keep the contents cool.

4) Avoid taking dishes to a picnic that contain uncooked or unpasteurized eggs, such as homemade salad dressings or mayonnaise:

Use pasteurized eggs or egg products to make these items. Food items containing properly prepared homemade or store-bought mayonnaise need to be kept cold until just before serving.

5) Wash produce such as melons prior to serving:

Bacteria can be present on the exterior of melons and can be carried into the edible section when cutting it.

6) Do not prepare food more than one day before your picnic unless it is to be frozen:

Cooking foods in advance allows for more opportunities for bacteria to grow. Be sure to reheat pre-cooked foods to at least 165°F before serving.

7) Remember the one-hour rule:

Do not consume any perishable foods that have been sitting out beyond one hour on days where the temperature is over 90°F. On cooler days (under 90°F), perishable foods should be returned to the cooler or discarded if not eaten within two hours.

8) Throw out leftovers:

Since most picnic leftovers have been sitting out for more than 1 – 2 hours and have had many people handling them, throw them out. The more time that food has been sitting at unsafe temperatures, the more likely harmful bacteria has grown.

9) Wash hands before eating or handling food:

Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating or handling food. If you’re eating where there’s no source of clean water, bring soap, water and paper towels or have disposable wipes or hand sanitizer available.


1. Start with a Clean Kitchen: According to a germ study by NSF International, the kitchen sponge and kitchen sink were the germiest places in the home – items that are typically used in multiple stages of the cooking and cleaning process. Avoid cross-contamination by ensuring these items are clean by:

a. Placing wet sponges in the microwave for two minutes once per day and replacing them often – every two weeks or more as needed. A better option for kitchen cleaning are dishcloths, towels and rags. These items can be sanitized by washing on the clothes washer’s hot water cycle with bleach. Replace every 1-2 days.

b. Washing and disinfecting the sides and bottom of the sink 1-2 times per week with a disinfecting cleaner. Sanitize kitchen drains and disposals monthly by pouring a solution of one teaspoon household bleach in one quart of water down the drain. Wash kitchen sink strainers in the dishwasher weekly.

2. Defrost Foods Safely: Don’t attempt to defrost foods quickly by leaving them sit overnight on a kitchen counter. Use one of the following methods:

a. Option I – Place a covered food in a shallow pan on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator.

b. Option II – Defrost the food item in the microwave, but keep in mind that you must finish cooking the food immediately thereafter, as some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during the microwave defrosting process.

c. Option III – If there is not enough time to thaw frozen foods, it is safe to cook foods from the frozen state. However, the cooking will take approximately 50% longer than the recommended time for fully thawed or fresh meat and poultry.

3. Practice Proper Marinating: If marinating food, marinate in a refrigerator overnight and dispose of any leftover marinade that has been in contact with raw meat. While acids in marinades can help tenderize meat, too much vinegar or hot sauce can cause meat to be more stringy and tough.

4. Keep Hot Foods Hot and Cold Foods Cold: Hot foods need to be kept at temperatures above 140 F and cold foods less than 40 F. Between these two temperatures, bacteria can multiply very rapidly and reach dangerous levels in as little as two hours.

5. Don’t cook with your eyes; Cook with a thermometer: In order to ensure food has reached a safe internal temperature, always use a certified food thermometer. Any leftovers should be put away within two hours (one hour if the temperature is over 90° F).

6. Avoid Cross Contamination. Since bacteria can easily spread from one food to the next via dripping juices, hands, or utensils, think ahead to avoid cross contamination. Don’t use the same utensils and plates for raw and cooked foods, and always remember to wash your hands before preparing and consuming food.

For additional food safety tips, download the complete NSF International Food Safety fact kit.

NSF International is an independent, not-for-profit public health organization that certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods.

Buy It: You can find more great information on safe food preparation and more on the NSF International site.

Win It:One lucky reader will win a
• NSF Certified Icepacks

• NSF Certified Meat Thermometer

• NSF Certified Tupperware

• NSF Apron

Mandatory Entry:This must be done first for any additional entries to count FIRST YOU MUST BE A FOLLOWER OF MY BLOG VIA GOOGLE FRIEND CONNECT. Next visit the NSF International site and tell me a tip or some safe foor prep information you found on the NSF International site.

Extra Entries :These are OPTIONAL AND NOT MANDATORY, Leave a separate comment for each one. (Example: If it says 3 entries leave three different comments number them 1. “comment”2. “comment” 3. “comment”

1. Update YOUR STATUS on YOUR Facebook WALL by writing this I entered to win NSF Safe Grilling Giveaway @Familylicious Reviews! Stop by and enter! please leave me the URL so I can verify (3 entries)
2. Tweet the following: I entered to #win the @NSF #safety #foodprep #Giveaway @Familylicious ! Stop by and enter #free
You can retweet once an HOUR, please leave me the URL so I can verify your tweet (if you do not know how to find your Tweet URL check HERE for step by step instructions)– I will be checking for the URL! (1entry per Tweet /HOURLY)
3. Subscribe to the Familylicious Reviews and Giveaways feed for EMAIL updates. You can find out about my giveaways as soon as they go live! (3 entries)
4. Make a blog post linking to this giveaway and the featured company stating why you would like to win this giveaway. Please leave a comment with a direct link to your post (5 entries)
5. Enter one of my other CURRENT giveaways you get one extra entry per other CURRENT giveaway you enter so enter one extra or all of them. Just write in your comment which other giveaway you entered. i.e. “I entered the… giveaway” (I understand that some will end before this giveaway is over, that’s fine)(1 entry per additional giveaway entered)
6. Grab my BUTTON this must be the BUTTON FROM THIS SITE THE OLD ONE DOES NOT COUNT please leave me the URL so I can verify I will be checking. The button MUST be on your HOMEPAGE. (5 entries)
7. Grab my SUMMER GIFT GUIDE BUTTON and tell me where it is make sure to leave a URL address I will be checking. The button MUST be on your HOMEPAGE. (5 entries)
8. Vote for me on Picket Fence. It’s simple all you have to do is click the button below. You can do this once a day for an extra entry each day you vote!
(1 entry per vote *once per day)
9. Enter this giveaway in a giveaway linky on another blog. Be sure to leave me the url to the linky you posted the link to! For an example and a list of places to post linkys Click HERE (1 extra entry per link each comment MUST have a URL as to where the linky was posted if you see that there is already a linky for this giveaway on a site move on to another site I have a ton of sites listed PLEASE DO NOT repeat a linky on a site where there is already one for this giveaway)

Giveaway ends July 17th@11:59PM PST. USA only. Winner will be picked via And the Winner Is a WordPress application. All prizes are shipped from the sponsoring company. Familylicious Reviews is not responsible for any prizes being shipped. Familylicious Reviews does coordinate with the sponsoring company to make sure the winners information gets to the responsible party. Familylicious Reviews will do everything possible to make sure that the winner receives their prize. Please respond within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen.
This was not a paid post my honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own and may vary from others. Thank you to The Hosting Company who supplied the products for the review and giveaway.
Good Luck!


  1. I’m an email subscriber. 2

  2. I’m an email subscriber. 3

  3. I voted for you on Picket Fence Blogs.

  4. I entered the Earthslings giveaway.

  5. Lily Kwan says:

    I follow you on Google Friend Connect under the username lilyk. I learned that you should arrange and serve food on several small platters rather than on one large platter.

  6. Veronica Garrett says:

    I follow your blog via Google Friend Connect. I learned that you need to wash fruit such as melons.

  7. Lily Kwan says:

    I subscribed by email. #1

  8. Lily Kwan says:

    I subscribed by email. #2

  9. Lily Kwan says:

    I subscribed by email. #3