This time of year brings weddings, graduations cookouts and all kinds of celebrations. Many of us will be hosting several of these events. How badly would you feel if you, or one of your guests, were to become ill from eating the food you served? It is important to remember the basic rules for safely purchasing, handling, preparing, serving and storing food.
Here are some specific food safety tips that we should be mindful of of during this season.
- “When in doubt, throw it out”.
- Go straight home from the grocery store, or put an ice cooler in your car to keep the foods requiring refrigeration cold.
- Avoid serving peanuts or products that contain peanuts. Allergic reactions to peanuts can be deadly.
- Wash your hands before handling food. Wash your hands after handling uncooked meats. Wash counters,cutting board and any utensils used.
- Don’t allow anyone with an infection to prepare food.
- Keep the inside of your refrigerator clean.
- Keep hot things hot. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature. Foods should be kept at a temperature of 140F. Bacteria grows temperatures between 45F and 120F.
- Never leave food out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. Keep all mayonnaise-based salads refrigerated.
- Use dish screens to cover food. Do not use bug sprays, window cleaner or other harsh commercials around food.
- Do not smoke when handling food.
- Keep pets, pet toys and bowls away from food, sink or surfaces where food is being handled. Keep sponges, dishcloths and towels clean.
- Be knowledgeable about the source and contents of each food item so that you will be able to answer questions your guests might have regarding food contents and/or preparation. If the event is a potluck or covered dish type of affair be sure to find out who brought what dish.
- If your event is catered, make sure to check the caterer’s licenses and references.
Entertaining is one of life’s pleasures, providing us with a great opportunity to express our love and appreciation for friends and family. Keeping food safe helps make sure the event is successful!
copyright, 2018 Surina Ann Jordan