Picnic season is officially here! What better time to take advantage of the warm weather than with a picnic? Pack your baskets, fold up your blankets, and head out with family and friends to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors. Whether you're going to the park, beach, or on a hike, here is our guide to planning the perfect picnic with some tips to get you started -- and tips to keep your food safe. With just a little planning you'll be packing your picnic basket like a pro.

Food Warnings
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When readying for a picnic, make sure all food is cooled before packing them in the basket or cooler. Do not place warm or hot foods in the cooler to get them cool. Once you've eaten at your picnic, discard any food that has been out of the cooler for more than 2 hours. Mayonnaise dishes should always be kept in a cooler to maintain the proper temperature. This includes potato salads, pasta salads, and coleslaw. It's also a good idea not to transport the basket or cooler in the trunk of your car, where it will be the hottest. Put it on the back seat.

Photo from stevendepolo, Flickr.

Main photo from aesop, Flickr.