There's nothing like entertaining friends and family at a party or event. The laughter, the memories, the good food— it's all part of the fun.
Unfortunately, with all the hustle and bustle that comes with entertaining, it's easy to let food safety slip through the cracks and the last thing you want to worry about is food poisoning.
But by taking a few simple precautions, you can rest assured that your guests will enjoy their meal without getting sick. So how do you ensure that your party food remains clean during events?
Make sure all of your utensils and surfaces are clean before you start preparing the party food. This includes washing your hands thoroughly and sanitising any cutting boards or counters. This is especially important if you have been handling raw meat or poultry.
When it comes to food poisoning, cross-contamination is one of the biggest culprits. This occurs when bacteria from raw meat or other contaminated food items come into contact with ready-to-eat food.
To avoid cross-contamination, keep raw meat separate from other party food items, both in storage and while you're preparing meals. Use separate cutting boards for meat and produce, and don't hesitate to wash them (and your hands) in between uses.
Other than keeping food separate, be sure to cook food properly. Whole meats ought to be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 65°C, minced meats cooked to at least 70–75°C, and poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 74°C.
If you don’t have time to prepare the party food, consider getting pre-packed ones such as pre-packaged popcorn or pre-packed candy floss. Convenient and hygienic, they can be kept fresh for weeks. Simply open the container and enjoy these satisfying treats when you’re ready to eat without any mess or fuss.
Or how about hiring live food station caterers? These stations offer a unique and interactive dining experience as guests can watch as their food is prepared right in front of them. They can also help to speed up service. Your party guests can place their orders and then move on to another activity while their food is being prepared.
Once cooked, serve your food promptly and don't let them sit out for too long for more than two hours.
Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. If you're serving buffet-style, make sure to keep food covered as much as possible. This will help to keep dust and other airborne contaminants from landing on the food.
Be sure to inspect your disposables for any dirt or debris before passing them to your guests. If you're serving finger foods, consider using toothpicks or small forks to help guests avoid contact with contaminated surfaces.
Do also be on the lookout for signs of spoilage such as mould or a bad odour. Any food that appears to be spoiled or has been mishandled should be thrown away immediately.
Bacteria and other contaminants thrive in warm, moist conditions, making it easy for them to multiply and contaminate the party food after more than two hours. Leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours of being served.
If there are party food leftovers, store them properly and keep them at the appropriate temperatures. Refrigerated items should be kept at 4°C or below, while frozen items should be kept at -18°C and below. Party foods that are particularly susceptible to bacterial growth, such as meat and seafood should also be wrapped tightly and stored in the freezer.
No one wants their event to be remembered for all the wrong reasons, so keeping your party food clean is essential. If you're the one hosting the event, there's also a lot of responsibility that comes with it.
By following the above five simple tips, you can make sure your next event is enjoyable–and safe–for everyone involved.
The Carnival Fair is the ultimate birthday event planning company in Singapore. We provide various party food and live food stations for hire, from sweet treats such as cotton candy, churros, and popcorn carts to classic must-haves like cup corn, hot dog buns, and chicken nuggets.
Keen to have a themed party? We also have different types of birthday party packages that take the hassle out of planning. Take a look at all the successful parties and events we have hosted or get in touch with us to find out more!