Can you remember the number of times you have pulled up at a campsite and set up everything for your picnic, only to remember that the table may not be as clean and sanitary as you would have wanted? Unfortunately, many campers never observe physical safety or proper sanitation. If you have been around campsites long enough, you have probably witnessed a few unsightly uses of these public campsite picnic tables. Not everyone pays attention to things, so you must sanitize and sterilize the table before using it. If not, find alternative means of setting up your picnic items without using these tables.
Misuse of Picnic Tables at Campsites
While it is unsightly and unfortunate, many people do not struggle or think twice when they misuse these tables or watch their kids do so. For instance, many have used these tables as surfaces where they scrape fish and clean other sorts of meat. The level of contamination that goes on here is unimaginable. The smell and potential germs transferred to the table may take a bit of squeaky cleaning to eliminate.
Secondly, some parents allow their children to climb on top of these tables as they play. This is disgusting considering that it is on the surface where you will set up food and eat. Not many people remember to clean the table properly.
An even more disturbing misuse of the tables is when someone changes their baby there, which is very unhygienic considering people will later use this table for dining. These public picnic tables have seen their fair share of misuse. They have been used as substitute blackboards and written all over, while others have transformed them into bike racks. The fact that they are wooden does not make matters easier.
Wood is complicated to clean and sanitize. It takes a lot of effort and deliberateness to make it sanitary enough to use, just like in commercial kitchens.
It is reasonable not to use these public picnic tables without first sanitizing them. Fortunately, there are several things you could do to ensure you are not putting your health at risk.
Always Clean to Remove any Bugs and Visible Dirt
Due to the misuse of these tables, it is not surprising to find dead bugs or live crawling bugs all over. If you must use the table, clean it first to eliminate any visible dirt.
Disinfect the Tables
Just because you got rid of the dirt you can see does not make it safe yet. Use a disinfectant to clean the table further. This will kill any harmful organisms and sterilize the table.
Use Table Covers
Once you have sterilized the table, consider using a table cloth or cover before bringing out your items. This should be enough protection and sanitization to give you peace of mind when using the table.
Bring Your Own Table
Alternatively, and if possible, bring your own table. Bringing your table is safer because you know where and how it has been used in the past. Furthermore, you control what and how you use it while camping and picnicking. Bringing a clean table to the camping grounds is more hygienic and safer. RIO has all-purpose portable tables that are great for use anywhere if you are looking for a camping table.