Food Safety Tips for the Holidays
December 21, 2015
If you’re from a large family or you like to host big parties, you are probably very familiar with a buffet style meal and all the effort it takes to get everything on the table only to find out that some of your guests haven’t arrived. Most people use the “too bad, so sad” mentality for those who fail to show on time and leave those guests to suffer through cold gravy and warm deviled eggs. However, without proper food safety you may be sending those late arrivers or buffet grazers home with more than a passive aggressive display of why they should have been on time. It only takes a little bacteria from a poorly kept dish to make someone regret they ever showed up to your party in the first place. With that in mind here are a few tips to make sure all your food is safe for everyone and will also help plan for those who get stuck in traffic on the way to your big show.
First things first, size does matter! If you are unsure about how quickly a meal will be eaten it may be best to break down the prepared amount into smaller amounts that can be easily swapped out as the night goes on ensuring that the crispy onions on your green bean casserole stay crunchy. Just keep the extra servings of hot dishes in the oven set between 200°F-250° F and cold dishes in the fridge.
Next up is to be sure to invest in a food thermometer. This way you can ensure your hot food is at least 140° F and the cold stuff is 40° F or colder, anything outside of those ranges can bring on bacteria. Also never add new food to an already-filled serving dish because as people move through the buffet line they also bring along their bacteria which can contaminate food.
Our final tip is to keep an eye on the time if something is set out at room temperature, it should be discarded after two hours. This rule goes for to-go bags as well! All of this information and more can be found on the FDA website.
Just follow those few tips to ensure you keep everyone you love happy, safe, and healthy this holiday season.
From all of us here at IPS Research we hope you have a happy holiday and look forward to seeing you in the new year.