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Follow these tips to keep food safe to eat at your next backyard get-together.

Planning an outdoor party? If so, you have more to do than just deciding on the menu and the decorations.

When serving food, especially outdoors, it’s important to make food safety a top priority. After all, nobody enjoys a party if they get sick after eating.

This video provides valuable tips on how to safely serve food, including:

Keep Hot Food Hot:

  • Pour hot water into a chafing dish. To avoid splashing, carry hot water in a teapot.
  • Use canned heat to warm up dish and keep food hot. Use the lid to set the height of the flame.
  • Keep chafing dish covered to retain heat.

Keep Cold Food Cold:

  • Use a thermometer to ensure cold dishes are served at 41°F or below.
  • Serve food in metal or ceramic bowls over an ice bath. Do not use plastic containers because they do not keep food as cold.

Other Serving Tips:

  • Keep the spout of hot beverage containers far from the edge of the table and out of kids’ reach.
  • Replenish food with new pans and utensils. To reduce cross-contamination, use designated utensils in all dishes and replace every 4 hours.
  • Dairy-based desserts should be served at the last minute and immediately returned to the refrigerator after serving.

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Date Last Reviewed: June 14, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Mike McCombe, CEC, CCE Certified Food Safety Director, Culinary Director

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