The majority of private events are not required to meet up with or provide the same level of overview or health and safety standards that industrial food facilities must meet. You happen to be therefore left to fend for yourself. Fear not. There are many things you as being a guest can look out for when you attend or participate in a catered event, large private party, picnic, barbecue etc . that can minimize your chances of getting a food borne illness or food poisoning. Here’s a short list of common sense observations and actions to think about and be alert to: – Because a lot of the food at larger events is usually produced in bulk at another place, the single most common and significant problem you will encounter is temperature abuse. The warmer units commonly used are usually chafing dishes with one or two small flames underneath.
It may be difficult to find, but look for hot foods to be sizzling hot or hot to the touch and cold foods to have a definite cold feel. -One way to limit the problem of temperature abuse is for everyone to eat as soon as they arrive at the big event. Do not have or participate in other activities initial. Most people who are brining food to an event are not going to bring along the necessary products to maintain that food at the proper cold or hot temperatures. This is especially important for outside activities in warm weather. -Be very distrustful of large deep pots, bowls or containers of thick sauces, stews, beans, etc . with a depth of 6 to 8 inches or more, unless you are sure these foods were just recently made i. e. that day time. These types of foods in deeper containers take a very long time to cool down and offer an ideal environment for the ubiquitous Clostridium perfrigens bacteria, commonly called the cafeteria bug, since cafeterias traditionally use these types of pots and pans to produce foods in large batches.
-In addition to the particular deep pots, there are certain other food items I am just more wary of on private events. These include those dishes that took the most time plus processing or handling efforts to create, and are supposed to be kept cold. Chilly salads such as chicken, potato, ovum or seafood are good examples. Food preparation at least kills most pathogenic organisms, whereas cold, refrigeration temperatures just slow the growth. I often choose only those foods which are recently cooked and served sizzling.
-Look for undercooked meat, poultry, egg and seafood products specially in salads and meats from the bar-b-que. Because the meat in the salad will be cooked or processed separately in many cases (for probably culinary reasons), it is far from always thoroughly cooked. Also, those who have ever barbecued knows that unless you are very well practiced and familiar with the barbeque you are using, it is difficult to have the meat just right. The barbecue is usually not as efficient in producing heat and cooking evenly as compared to the stove or oven. It is very easy to either over or under cook the foods. Even the big expensive barbecues, with extra insulation and gadgets you see out today still consider practice to get it right.
-The barbeque is especially susceptible to cross contamination. The person cooking at the barbecue can be easily distracted during an event or even may not have brought separate items, plates, etc . to handle the natural meats versus the cooked. Another way to cross contaminate is with marinades. The same salatsoße used to saturate the raw meat is then basted onto the particular meat during the final moments of cooking. A big No-No.
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This marinade could very likely be a microorganism soup depending on the temperature conditions the meat was maintained while marinating.
-It can’t hurt also to take into consideration the person who made the food, if you are able. What is their history of making this dish and so are they fairly educated on food safety practices? Did they make an effort to keep the food hot or cold while it is was being transported, displayed and served?
One last tip at a private event – In case you see any of the conditions or circumstances noted above, especially temperature troubles and you have a choice between foods prepared at someones home versus food items coming from a known local restaurant, I would recommend selecting the food prepared at the restaurant, diplomatically of course. Even though there are many ignorant foods handlers, cooks, chefs etc . from restaurants, they are at least experienced within producing their food everyday and much more likely know its potential hazards during preparation. They are also regularly checked out for compliance with health and safety regulations and standards, unlike the private home kitchen. Chow.