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VERIFY: Which picnic foods go bad the quickest?

Four easy tips to make sure your picnic doesn't leave you sick.

MINNEAPOLIS - Are you sure you should be eating that?

Our question: Which picnic foods go bad the quickest?

We asked that to Angie Murad, a wellness dietitian at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program.

"Foods that go bad the quickest are typically high-protein foods," said Murad, pointing specifically at chicken, beef, salads with eggs, and mayonnaise. They're breeding grounds for food-borne illnesses.

"Typically, some of the symptoms could be GI discomfort, can be bad with vomiting, diarrhea," said Murad.

If you're feeling like this for a couple of days, you should see a doctor.

But we want to avoid that, and Angie has four easy tips.

  • Keep clean. "So, if you're at a picnic or grilling out you want to make sure that you wash your hands properly," said Murad, noting that means soap and water or disposable wipes. And, make sure to use clean plates and utensils.
  • Keep cool foods cool. "So, making sure that you have ice packs, freezer packs, and coolers to keep those foods nice and cool," said Murad. Oh, and on that note, keep raw foods separate from your beverage cooler - you don't want to cross contaminate.
  • Cook correctly. "Also, just making sure you're cooking foods to the proper temperatures," said Murad. That's 165 degrees for chicken, 160 degrees for beef.
  • Never leave any food out for too long. "So, really there's a 2-hour rule and if temperatures are above 90 degrees, you really don't want to go more than an hour," said Murad. "And, whenever you're in doubt, if you're not sure how long did I have this out, really just throw it out to be safe."

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