6 tips for food safety at holidays parties and dinners

Food and holidays go together. Keep your food safe!

Planning a holiday party or dinner? Having family and friends over for appetizers or a meal is a great way to spend less on meals out in restaurants. Keep the festivities safe and stress free by following six simple food safety tips.

  1. Guests like to help out by providing appetizers, main dishes and desserts to share with everyone. Take advantage of offers to help out with the food. If guests are coming from a distance, choose non-perishable foods/beverages for them to provide such as pop, cookies, bagged snacks, etc.
  2. Plan for ways to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Coolers will keep cold foods cold until serving time. If food will left out on a buffet table for longer than 2 hours, have ice filled bowls and trays to keep dips, salads, cut fruits and vegetables cold. Slow cookers can be used to keep hot food hot. (Do not reheat foods in a slow cooker – heat in the oven or in the microwave to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. before putting into the slow cooker).
  3. Provide plenty of soap and disposable towels for hand washing. Using a cloth common towel can lead to sharing bacteria and viruses, especially colds and flu. No one wants to get sick for the holidays!
  4. Prepare some dishes ahead of time, refrigerate or freeze, and reheat (to 165 F) before serving.
  5. Michigan State University Extension recommends using a food thermometer to determine when cooked foods are done. Food thermometer also make a great gift!
  6. When shopping for groceries, select non-perishable foods or non-foods purchases first. Shop for refrigerated foods such as dairy products and meat, eggs, poultry and eggs and frozen foods last to keep these foods at the correct temperature.

Holiday parties and dinners are a wonderful way to spend the holidays. Plan now for your holiday events to be fun and food safe too! 

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