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Food Safety at Parties

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food safety at parties

The perfect way of celebrating a special occasion with your loved ones is by throwing a party and offering an amazing buffet, with a variety of delicious food. Calling a party rental and cooking your party buffet might seem simple enough. Now, serving delicious food may seem as a priority in a party, there is another primary aspect related to food to take into account: food safety.

What do we mean by food safety?

party food management

Food safety is a scientific discipline involving the handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness.

This safety includes several routines you should follow to avoid potential health concerns.

As party hosts, we need to know of different things related to food safety. Even if you are just cooking burgers and renting concession machines.

Food can transmit disease from person to person also it can serve as a growth medium for bacteria which can lead to food poisoning.

So, if you are planning to cook at home, make sure you follow the standard rules for food preparation.

Here are some of these basic rules from USDA - United States Department of Agriculture- that go from food manipulation to its preparation:

Shop safety

This is where it all starts. It does not matter how many safety procedures you take when cooking if you are not careful when buying your groceries.

Make sure that when you are at the supermarket or convenience store to check the expiration date. Avoid buying foods that are close to the expiration date. Also, avoid buying any type of food where the packaging has been damaged.

Start with a clean space

A key element is to have all the working space clean from bacteria and germs.

Cross-contamination is caused by using the same utensils or cutting boards for both raw and ready-to-eat foods.To avoid this, we suggest you wash cutting boards, utensils, counter tops and sinks with hot soapy water and sanitize between each use. Remember to always disinfect counter tops and sinks.

Safe food manipulation

Remember to always wash your hands with warm water before and after handling food, especially if it is raw.

Keep your kitchen, dishes, and utensils clean also serve food on clean plates. Sometimes, we tend to serve food on plates that previously contained raw food, since bacteria may be present in raw meat juices, causing your fresh cooked meal to contaminate. Use purified water to boil raw food or to it.

Cook food thoroughly

Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.

Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F also, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming.

Food Storage

Store food at the proper temperature. Also, it is a great idea to divide cooked foods into shallow containers to store in the refrigerator or freezer until serving. This will help rapid cooling.

When you serve the food, do it on small platters rather than a big platter. This will allow foods to hold at a safe temperature for a longer period.

Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating the cooked foods.

Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.

Store food at the proper temperature.

Toss food!

Food should not sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours, as bacteria starts growing and food begins to decompose.

If you think that you left some food outside the fridge for two hours or more, trash it!

If you are offering a buffet party, make sure to keep track of time, or put food heaters under the platters, to keep food hot and away from germs!

Leftovers, delicious leftovers

Who does not love eating food leftovers? Reheating food is better than cooking, that is for sure!

However, it may turn not so funny when you catch Clostridium perfringens - in foods served in quantity and left for long periods of time on inadequately maintained steam tables or at room temperature- or listeria monocytogenes - multiply, although slowly, at refrigeration temperatures, these bacteria can be found in cold foods typically served on buffets.

Leftover storage is just as important as preparing and cooking your meal.If you are planning on keeping leftovers you better divide large quantities of leftovers into smaller containers and place in the fridge. Frozen or discard any leftovers that have been sitting in the fridge for over 4 days.