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Serving Food Safely at Your Holiday Party

I am having a holiday gathering. How long can I leave food such as a meat and cheese tray on the table?

Remember that perishable foods should not sit at room temperature more than two hours. Bacteria that can cause foodborne illness cannot be smelled or tasted.

  • If the party will go on for a while, set out smaller amounts of food and keep the rest in the refrigerator. Replace the serving containers as needed.
  • Keep salads, cut fruit and vegetables, and meat and cheese trays cold by nesting the bowls or platters in containers of ice.
  •  Keep warm foods, such as hot wings and warm dips, in slow cookers. If you do not have small slow cookers, set out a smaller amount of food and keep the remaining food in the oven or on the stove staying warm.

 

By: Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist

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