The DOs and DON’Ts of Eating Outdoors's featured image

The DOs and DON’Ts of Eating Outdoors


With summer finally here, eating lunch or dinner out on the front porch, back deck, or around the pool have become a reality. With social distancing measures beginning to loosen, picnics in the park are soon to be another venue! Here are a few tips to eating outdoors amidst the elements:


DO wash your hands

We all know the importance of washing our hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after touching outdoor furniture or equipment that may not have been used for a while – even more so this summer. If you know that you will not have access to soap and running water, bring disposable anti-bacterial hand wipes or a portable washing station.


DON’T just stop at clean hands

Spray down picnic tables with an antiseptic and/or use a clean tablecloth on the table to prevent the spread of bacteria from table to food. Additionally, remember to wash all utensils with soap and warm water before you head out. 


DO anticipate spills and other mishaps

Spills are bound to happen so be sure to have some cloth or paper napkins and a roll of paper towels. Baby wipes are ideal for sticky fingers. And most importantly: pack up all your trash and take it with you, so other families can enjoy the outdoors after you’re gone. 


DON’T cross contaminate

It’s easy to do when barbecuing, especially on a picnic. Keep raw food away from ready-to-eat foods such as salads, bread, chips and desserts. Remember to use separate serving utensils, plates and bowls for uncooked and ready-to-eat foods.


DO serve simple foods

Finger foods are great when eating outside as they remove the need for cutlery. Veggie platters, fruit platters, buffalo chicken bites, caprese salad skewers and tea sandwiches are the perfect outdoor cuisine. Freezing some bottles of water ahead of time will keep food fresh and as they melt, will provide a refreshing beverage.


DON’T leave food out baking in the sun

When eating al fresco, make sure to take your food safety seriously. Nothing ruins a perfect day quicker than a bout of food poisoning. All types of cooked food should be ok on a picnic spread for up to 2 hours, but cold foods, such as meat slices and potato salad, should be limited to 1 hour if it’s a really hot day.


DON’T forget about bugs

Unwanted pests can put a damper on a party, so always carry a bottle of bug spray in your picnic basket. At home, circle your party area with citronella candles or spray the tablecloth with a rosemary spray. The scent will help keep bugs at bay and the soft glow will enhance the ambiance.

For even more fabulous tips to keep you inspired, be sure to check out our blog curated by the home cleaning experts at Molly Maid Canada!


Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash