In a nutshell: It is easy to let the usual food hygiene standards slip when food is taken outside on occasions like picnics and school outings. This is because food is usually prepared in advance with no reheating before consumption, likely stored at the Temperature Danger Zone for extended periods, and there is a lack of hygiene practice. It is therefore important to follow the "Five Keys to Food Safety" and maintain good personal, environmental and food hygiene when preparing packed meals and consuming them at school outings or picnics.
- Parents or caregivers preparing meals for the picnic should always keep food clean by washing fresh fruits and vegetables (including those with rinds) thoroughly under running tap water.
- Avoid including high-risk foods for picnics.
- Keep packed meals at safe temperatures.
- Keep food away from direct sunlight.
- Students should wash their hands thoroughly before eating at picnic locations where possible. Otherwise, they should sanitise their hands with 70-80% alcohol-based hand rub if their hands are not visibly soiled.
- Minimise the amount of time the cool box is opened in order to keep the contents cold for a longer duration.
- Do not eat any food that has warmed up, or has touched outdoor surfaces or the ground.