The warm, dry days of July mean that it’s picnic season. Food safety, water safety and sun safety are topics that can sometimes take a backburner to the other details of planning a party or gathering.
When it’s time to get ready for your family reunion, alumni picnic or neighborhood gathering, keep these tips in mind to make sure your guests and family stay safe and healthy.
- Leave foods and dishes in the shade, and chill as needed with ice or in coolers. When in doubt, throw it out, especially for meat-based dishes and salads that include mayonnaise.
- Be vigilant about cooking meats and keeping utensils and platters that have touched raw meat separate from other food and serving items.
- Bring a food thermometer to check verify that your grillmaster has done the job.
- Wash your hands. If running water and soap are not available, make sure you have a supply of hand wipes and sanitizer available for guests and chefs.
- Stay hydrated. Water is best so make sure your coolers are stocked with fresh water and ice.
- Never leave a person, especially a child, alone in the water. That includes backyard pools, lakes and streams. An adult with swimming skills should be designated as a watcher while anyone is in the water, and that person should be free of distractions – including cell phones.
- Don’t drink alcohol before swimming or operating a boat or jetski.
- Wear lifejackets and appropriate floatation devices when on open water.
- Our last Wellness Wednesday piece covered some of this, but in general, keep your skin and hair shaded, clothed or covered in a high-SPF sunscreen to avoid burns and sun damage. That includes sunglasses to protect your eyes and vision.
Whether your picnic celebration is at a campground, beach or your own backyard, keep “safety” and common sense in mind as you set up your grill, build a campfire and dust off the lawn chairs.
Kara Kane, Community Relations Coordinator
Board member, Springville Area Chamber of Commerce