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Food safety for families

By Staff | Dec 27, 2013

The holidays are fun and joyous occasions when family and friends get together for parties and food galore! The last thing you want to invite to your party is food?borne illness. Use the following tips to keep your family and friends from becoming sick. Don’t let bacteria (germs) crash your holiday parties.

Buffets are a popular way to celebrate holidays with family and friends. This type of food service, where foods are left out for long periods, leaves the door open for uninvited guests – bacteria that cause food borne illness. Festive times for giving and sharing should not include sharing foodborne illness.

Preparing food

for your party

Always wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handling food. Keep your kitchen, dishes and utensils clean. Always serve food on clean plates. Never use plates used for holding raw meat and poultry for cooked food.

Party Crasher ?

Clostridium perfringens “Perfringens” is called the “cafeteria germ” because perfringens may be found in foods served in large quantities. The bacteria (germs) grow when the food is left for more than 2 hours at room temperature.

To prevent problems with this bacteria growing in your food:

Keep cooked foods hot (140F or higher).

Use chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays to keep foods hot on your buffet table.

Keep cold foods at 40F or colder.

Keep foods cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice OR use small serving trays and replace them often.

Cool foods quickly in your refrigerator.

Divide large portions of cooked foods into smaller portions to cool quickly in your refrigerator.

Bacteria can also multiply quickly in moist desserts that contain dairy products. Keep eggnog, cheesecakes, cream pies and cakes with whipped?cream or cream?cheese frostings refrigerated until serving time.

Helpful Hint: Prepare extra serving platters and dishes ahead of time; store them in the refrigerator or keep them hot in the oven (set at approximately 200 to 250F) before serving.

Then REPLACE empty platters rather than adding fresh food to a dish that already had food in it.

No bake

snack mix

8 cups cereal squares (such as corn or wheat Chex or Crispex)

2 cups mini pretzels (sticks or twists)

2 cups bite-size cheddar cheese crackers

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 1-oz. envelope ranch salad dressing mix

Combine cereal, pretzels and crackers in large bowl. Drizzle with oil and stir gently. Sprinkle with dressing mix and stir gently.

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