Warm weather and more opportunities for serving food to small groups make food safety guidelines even more important. Here are some tips from www.FightBAC.org to consider:

Make sure hands, work surfaces, and utensils are clean before starting to prepare food.

Avoid bare hand contact with food that is ready to eat (will not be cooked before serving) because of the danger of cross-contamination. Wear disposable gloves or use utensils like tongs to handle ready to eat food.

Serve dishes at buffet meals in individual servings in disposable containers. This decreases the chance that other diners may cross-contaminate food and makes clean up easier.

Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use a food thermometer to be sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature.

Never put ice used to cool canned drinks or food into beverages or other food.

Refrigerate foods within two hours after cooking or one hour after cooking if the temperature is above 90 degrees.

Refrigerate cut fruit and vegetables or place the serving container on a bed of ice.

Choose easy recipes your group will enjoy and that will give the host a chance to relax, too. Enjoy all the flavors of a traditional shrimp boil in these easy-to-make foil packets! Filled with shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn and a little Cajun seasoning, these foil packets are sure to be a hit. Did we mention zero clean up needed? Recipe by Jodi of Create Kids Club.

For more information about serving groups and food safety, contact Janet Steffens, M.Ed., Floyd County Extension Educator, at jsteffens@purdue.edu. Watch for cooking demos and food preservation programs on the Extension’s Facebook page: Purdue Extension Floyd County.

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