The holidays are a time to bring people together for celebration and reflection, at home and in the workplace. Conference rooms nationwide are already being booked for holiday parties and, let’s face it, no party is complete without great food.
But these holiday festivities can bring increased challenges for companies when it comes to food safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 48 million people get sick with a foodborne illness every year, many of them during the holidays.
For holiday parties happening outside of your cafe, remind your employees to be mindful of food safety. This will minimize the risk of sending a coworker home with a foodborne illness.
Below are tips to share with your employees this season that will help ensure everyone has a safe and healthy holiday season.
1. Encourage everyone to wash their hands.
If the event is a self-serve buffet or potluck style, many people will be handling food and utensils themselves. It’s always a good idea to have hand sanitizer at the beginning and end of the service line.
2. Change utensils frequently.
Because lots of hands will be touching the forks, knives and spoons, it is a good idea to change serving utensils on a regular basis.
3. Keep temperature in mind.
Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Hot food should be properly cooked and maintained at 140 degrees. Cold food should be refrigerated until serving time.
4. Highlight allergens.
There are currently eight major allergens recognized by the FDA: milk, wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish and eggs. Encourage employees who are bringing in dishes to label any allergens contained in their food.
5. Refrigerate or toss the leftovers.
After any great party, there will be leftovers. Many companies put leftover items in breakrooms or pantries for others to enjoy, or some employees will pack a take-home plate. It is important that no food is kept out longer than two hours. Consider refrigerating all leftovers immediately and put a note on the fridge door encouraging others to help themselves.
By following these tips, you can be sure your employees will create happy memories that will last throughout their holiday season.
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