Keep Food Safe At Your Holiday Potlucks And Parties
If you are like me, you like to graze at holiday parties. So I tend to keep food on the table at my parties and gatherings for others to do the same. However, health experts are saying to be careful when it comes to the foods you leave out. Especially in the heat and humidity that we have here in Southwest Florida. To help keep food safe at your holiday potlucks and parties here are a few things to take note of to avoid any unfortunate illness.
If your buffet table contains cold food, like delicious Florida pink shrimp, you most likely know how important it is to keep them cold. However, Colleen Tewksbury, a registered dietitian at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing has a good tip. Ditch the bowl of melting ice cubes. She recommends filling the bottom of a serving dish with an inch of water and freezing it overnight. When it comes time to serve any of your cold foods, place their containers in the serving dish, on top of the ice that has formed.
For hot food, she says chafing dishes are excellent. However, temperature is still important. They need to maintain at least 140 degrees. In this case, foods can stay out and safe for as long as four hours. When it comes to casseroles temperature is once again a big deal. These dishes should be kept a consistent 140 degrees too. An electric hotplate is a good option. If you can’t maintain the temperature, she says they should go bye bye after two hours.
The best rule of thumb is, when in doubt, throw it out. Keep food safe at your holiday potlucks and parties this season.