7 Foods Not to Take to a Picnic

Don’t bring these seven picnic foods on your next picnic.
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Photo by: sofiaworld

sofiaworld

Take your meal outdoors when the weather heats up and plan a picnic. But be careful: There are some foods that can sabotage your portable meal. Before packing your next picnic basket, make sure to avoid these foods.

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise

Bowl of homemade mayonnaise - overhead view

Photo by: Photographer: V.F. ©Copyright: V.F.

Photographer: V.F., Copyright: V.F.

Mayo-Based Salads

Potato, pasta and tuna salad dressed in mayo and kept in warm temperatures can spoil the party. These salads need to be kept cold — at 41 degrees or below — otherwise they can make picnickers sick.

Photo by: Corby Chapin ©Copyright 2009 Corby Chapin

Corby Chapin, Copyright 2009 Corby Chapin

Fish

Once again, storage can be a problem, especially when it comes to raw fish. Also, if the seafood in your basket or cooler is less than fresh, the odor can seep into the other foods. Your best bet is to skip the fish; go for traditional hot dogs, hamburgers or grilled chicken.

Glass of cola and another full of sugar on the side. Representing how much sugar can be in cola drinks.

Photo by: Atli Mar Hafsteinsson ©Atli Mar Hafsteinsson

Atli Mar Hafsteinsson, Atli Mar Hafsteinsson

Soda

Besides being high in sugar, sodas can burst and ruin your entire meal. Plus, insects (especially bees and ants) love the sweet stuff. Tote along half-frozen bottles of water and use them to keep your food cold.

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156684526

Stacked chocolate bars

Chocolate

Although you may be trying to satisfy the chocoholics in your group, chocolate easily melts when it’s warm outside. A better choice is an angel food cake topped with fresh fruit.

Chunks of Cheese

Skip cubes of cheese, which will get oily in the warm sun and become very unappetizing. Plus, cutting can be tricky, as paper plates and plastic knives aren’t an ideal combination. Instead, pack sliced fruit or chips and guacamole for easy-to-tote appetizers.

Group of blueberry vanilla ice pops in a vintage ice tray with r

Group of blueberry vanilla ice pops in a vintage ice tray with r

Group of blueberry vanilla ice pops in a vintage ice tray with rustic wood background

Frozen Treats

From ice cream to ice pops, frozen treats make a big mess even if you do store them in a cooler. They can get soft, messy and sticky. If you’re packing them for the youngsters, all you’ll end up with is a headache. Take some cash and visit the ice cream truck before heading home instead.

Fried Foods

Messy is an understatement when you’re talking about fried food. Although your guests may be excited to see you pull out a vat of fried chicken, you’ll need a lot of napkins for the oily mess and a garbage bag for the leftover bones, which is just something else to attract animals and insects. Opt for grilled foods instead to minimize the mess.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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