With the holidays coming up fast, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to be celebrating with the people you love and care for. While a lot about this year’s holidays are going to be different than we’re used to, one thing that doesn’t have to change is the food that you choose to celebrate with. But with sickness being in the air, it’s important that you take every precaution to ensure that no one gets ill from eating the food you’re serving.
To help you with this, here are three tips for keeping food safe to eat at holiday get-togethers.
KNOW THE RIGHT TEMPERATURES
Because so much cooking takes place for holiday meals and celebrations, it’s easy for little things to slip through the cracks, like ensuring that every food item gets to the right temperature before you stop cooking it and begin serving it. Knowing this, it’s wise to know the right temperatures you should be shooting for as your hot and cold foods sit out to be served.
According to the FDA, any foods that are meant to be eaten hot should be kept at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit for their internal temperature. On the other hand, if something you’re eating should be cold, you shouldn’t allow it to get above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether this means having some kind of heat underneath your food as you’re serving it or turning up your air conditioning for a while before you eat, it’s important that food stays at the right temperatures in order for it to stay safe.
WARM FOOD THE RIGHT WAY
If you’re going to be holding some kind of open house where you have friends and family coming at different times during the day, you’ll want to take steps to ensure that you keep your foods warmed the right way.
Ideally, the editors of Taste Of Home recommend that you keep your oven set at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for anything that you’re wanting to have warm when you serve it or eat it. With your oven at the temperature, it’s low enough that nothing you leave in there should dry out while also being hot enough that the food will still be warm even if someone shows up later than you expected.
KEEP AN EYE ON THE CLOCK
In some homes, it makes more sense to have all the food out in a buffet-style for people to serve themselves. The only issue here is that you want to be sure not to leave the food out for too long. According to the USDA, no foods should be left at room temperature for longer than two hours. At this point, bacteria is able to grow on the food and can make it unsafe to eat.
To help ensure that everyone remains healthy even after sharing a meal with you this holiday season, consider using the tips mentioned above to keep all foods safe at your upcoming parties.