Don’t Let Germs Crash Your Party!

Photo Credit: http://mymaxdoc.com/summer-food-safety/

Photo Credit: http://mymaxdoc.com/summer-food-safety/

Holidays are a great time to invite friends and family over to enjoy a meal. Leaving food out too long can leave the door open for uninvited guests — bacteria that can cause food borne illness.

Bacteria can double every 20 minutes in food kept at room temperature so it’s important to keep HOT foods HOT and COLD foods COLD. Here are a few suggestions to help you keep unwanted “guests” from joining your party.
Follow the “Two – Hour Rule”:  Foods should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep track of how long foods have been sitting on the buffet table and discard food that has been there for two hours or more.
Cool and store leftovers: Divide leftovers into several clean, shallow containers, allowing them to chill faster. 
Arrange and serve on small platters: REPLACE empty platters rather than adding fresh food to a dish that already had food
in it. Many people’s hands may have been taking food from the dish, which has also been sitting out at room temperature.