The outside catering business can sometimes pose a huge risk as far as food safety is concerned. Outside catered food often undergoes a series of handling processes thereby increasing the risk of contamination.
As professional caterers, Divine Caterers take every safety precaution in our operations to ensure that what we serve our guests is cooked and preserved under the highest hygienic standards. Here are top tips on how to maintain food safety at catered events.
Follow safe food preparation practices
In catered events, food is mostly prepared on site or ahead of time. Either way, the cooking should be done under recommended temperatures to get rid of possible contaminants. Safe temperatures vary with the different types of foods being prepared.
Transport Food in insulated Food Carriers
During the transportation process, both hot and cold foods have to be kept at appropriate temperatures. In order to achieve these desired temperatures, insulated food carriers should be utilized. Aluminum foil is an easy way to insulate food if sealed insulated containers are not available.
Reheat Food to 165 F
The FDA code pertaining to heated food stipulates that any food that needs to be reheated much reach an internal temperature of 165 F for 15 seconds to be considered safe, therefore ensure that foods that were cooked offsite and transported while chilled are preheated accordingly.
There is no excuse for dirty hands
This is a no brainer- when it comes to handling food, employees should have access to hand washing stations. For outside catering, the caterer should bring along hand sinks or set up mobile hand washing stations to enable employees to wash their hands regularly.
Do your Dishes
During and after the event, caterers should have access to dishwashing facilities. This is important to ensure that surfaces and utensils are kept clean throughout the entire process. A temporary sink can be installed for outside catering.
Time and temperature control still applies
It is important to note that all hot foods should be kept above 140 F and cold food to be kept below 40 F for food safety. If any of your catered foods falls outside this range for more than two hours, that food needs to be thrown away.
Separate display ice and beverage ice
When serving beverages, ice that is used to chill beverage bottles needs to be kept separate from ice that goes into drinks to prevent cross contamination.
All foods should be covered
For outdoor catered events, wind and other vermin can pose a hazard. All displayed food should be covered and preferably served under a tent.