22
May
2020
|
18:15 PM
America/New_York

Do’s and Don’ts: Summer Picnics, Coronavirus-Style

BY JENN FISHER

We get it – you want to get out in the sunshine and enjoy a picnic with your besties (or at this point, even frenemies). But in the time of COVID-19 pandemic, certain traditions need to be rethought so that you can have fun without risking infection from the coronavirus – or a food-borne germ.

While not recommended, if you are having a few family members over for a picnic, take some extra precautions, such as follow social distancing (position lawn chairs at least 6 feet apart), wear face masks and don’t share utensils.

Here are some suggestions for a COVID-conscious picnic:

Do:

Picnic in your backyard or on the patio. If a few family members who don’t live with you join you for the picnic, try to avoid having them come inside your home and practice social distancing outside.

Don’t:

Picnic in a crowded park. Avoiding crowds helps protect you from exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Do:

Picnic with your family or those who live with you. But if any of your picnickers aren’t a member of your immediate household, place lawn chairs at least 6 feet away from each other and don’t share utensils.

Don’t:

Picnic with friends, frenemies or strangers. There is no way to know who may have been exposed to COVID-19. As much as possible, limit your contact with others so that you don’t pick up the coronavirus.

Do:

Wear a mask. To protect others when you head to the grocery store to pick up items for your picnic, remember wearing a cloth mask when you're in public helps protect those around you.

Don't:

Expose yourself to unnecessary risk. Wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer and social distancing in public helps protect everyone. Consider grocery pick-up or delivery to reduce your risk.

Do:

Bring hand sanitizer or have access to a source of clean water to wash your hands. This is especially important to do before eating or after handling any raw meat that you plan to grill.

Don’t:

Handle food if you haven’t cleaned your hands properly.

Do:

Keep cold foods cold and cooked foods hot to reduce risk for food poisoning. Be sure to use an insulated cooler and ice packs to help keep perishable food at a safe temperature. Bring a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat or fish that you cook.

Don’t:

Eat food that has been sitting out too long. A rule of thumb provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Don’t eat food that’s been sitting out for longer than two hours (or after one hour if the outdoor temperature is 90° F).

Do:

Wear sunscreen. It’s an easy way to protect your skin from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Don’t:

Skip the sunscreen because it’s cloudy. Even on a cloudy day, UV rays from the sun can damage your skin, which is a risk for skin cancer.