The number one rule when it comes to food safety is hot food has to stay hot and cold food needs to stay cold. That's especially important as we cook and eat outside in the summer.
"If you're going to be out at a picnic, for example, you want to transport your food in a cooler," says Trisha Calvo, deputy health editor at Consumer Reports. "And when you do that, you want to make sure that raw meat or anything like that is wrapped very tightly, so the juices don't drip onto your cooler."
Those juices could be contaminated with bacteria like salmonella and E.coli. If that bacteria gets onto food that you won't be cooking – whether it's coleslaw or fruit salad – that could make you sick.
Another tip: Get those leftovers back on ice as soon as possible.
"You shouldn't leave anything out, if you're sitting in the sun, for any longer than an hour," Calvo adbised. "If you're in your house, it's no longer than two hours before you put the leftovers away."
Even though you're outdoors, don't forget to wash your hands. You can bring along some soap, paper towels and bottled water, use moist disposable towelettes.
More Info: Eating Outdoors, Handling Food Safely