April is right around the corner, which means you may be getting ready for some springtime holiday parties.  No matter what type of party you are having, there will most likely be some food involved.  To keep everyone safe from food borne illnesses or food poisoning and to protect yourself from liability claims, always remember to follow these food safety tips:

  • It is always recommended to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.  Room temperature can cause bacteria to grow quickly on items left out.  According to foodsafety.gov, bacteria that cause food poisoning multiply quickest in the “Danger Zone” between 40˚ and 140˚ Fahrenheit.  Use ice trays and chafing dishes accordingly.  Always put foods away after an hour of being left out.
  • Cook all your foods to the proper temperature.  Be especially careful with meats, fish, and poultry.  Most meats should reach 165°, but check with foodsafety.gov to be sure before you take your meat out of the oven or off the grill.
  • Keep raw foods away from cooked foods.  Use separate cutting boards, dishes, and utensils for each.
  • Wash your hands frequently and between handling different foods.
  • Ask about allergies and always let guests know what ingredients you used in all foods.
  • Check expirations dates on all items and do not serve if past expiration.
  • Keep your workspace clean.  Always disinfect the area after handling raw meats.
  • If something doesn’t taste right, it might be spoiled.  Do not take the chance of someone getting sick from eating it.  Dispose of it properly.

Enjoy all your spring time get-togethers with your loved ones.  Your homeowners insurance will have you covered if any food related claims arise with your guests, but preventing those issues from the start is always the best bet.