When planning the perfect summer picnic, often the main thought on everyone’s mind is the weather – not food hygiene. Unfortunately, forgetting the simple tips below, could lead to a less than perfect picnic – especially during National Picnic Week.

  1. Clean up first. Rinse fresh fruits (including those with rinds) and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cool box.
  2. Keep cold food cold. Place cold food in a cool box with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at below 5°C to prevent bacterial growth.
  3. Organise your cool box. Pack drinks in one cool box and perishable foods in another. If using freezer packs (frozen drinks work well for this purpose), distribute them throughout the box – not all at the bottom!
  4. Keep your cool box closed. Once at the picnic site, limit the number of times the cool box is opened as much as you can. This helps to keep the contents cold for longer.
  5. Pack away your picnic. Once you’ve served it, dishes should not sit out for longer than two hours, or one hour if it’s very hot outside. After this, the risk of bacteria increases and it becomes unsafe to eat, so best to throw it away when you get home. Pack away food so that your guests are not tempted to nibble later. To reduce waste, pre-plan portion sizes according to the size of your party and only pack what you need.

Not sure where to host your amazing summer picnic? Why not try some of our favourite Derby picnic spots?

  • Markeaton Park is Derby’s most visited park and one of the most popular attractions in the East Midlands, and it’s not hard to see why! With a large playground, sports facilities (including crazy golf, footgolf and the Adventure Hub) and Mundy Play Centre’s host of activities, Markeaton is a great choice for a whole day of fun. There’s plenty of space for a big picnic and lots to keep the whole family entertained!
  • Darley Park is a large and picturesque park within easy walking access of the city centre, close to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. The park boasts rolling hills, which are perfect for picnics and a play area for children. There is a butterfly garden to explore and the park also boasts Britain’s largest Hydrangea collection, with over 400 types in the collection.
  • Alvaston Park is situated on the River Derwent, and the lake attracts plenty of wildlife including ducks, geese and herons. There are 85 acres of land to explore, which make for beautiful walks throughout the day, as well as cycle paths. With the science garden, a BMX track and sports facility available, Alvaston Park is great to keep everybody busy and happy! Head to the lake for a picturesque picnic spot with great views.
  • Chaddesden Park is a large park set outside of the city centre. It has plenty of grass and green areas to settle down with a picnic and children can enjoy the brilliant water play area during the warmer weather. The park also has a dedicated nature area, which is home to water vole, orange foxtail, green woodpecker, song thrush and spotted fly catcher, as well as a wide range of common species. See what you can spot!
  • Derby Arboretum is famous for being Britain’s first public park, and it’s still a popular attraction today. Steeped in history, the park makes for an educational and enjoyable trip. Check out the renovated buildings, or enjoy the tree trail and see the huge range of trees that the Arboretum holds. The playground is surrounded by grassy areas that are prime for picnics with easy access to the play equipment.