Catering is a great way to have delicious, fresh food at your next get-together or special event. By catering, you don’t have to worry about making the food, keeping it hot, and reducing the risk that bacteria or pathogens will make your guests ill. Before hiring a caterer, be certain that the food at your event is safe and enjoyable for everyone. Here’s what you should ask your caterer about food safety.
Food Safety Certifications
Ask your caterer if they have all legally required food safety certifications and follow HAACP guidelines. This is especially important for high-risk foods that are more susceptible to bacteria growth or contamination.
Caterers should have well-established sanitation procedures, including good handwashing practices. All employees should be trained on when and how to properly wear gloves, how to ensure that raw food does not contaminate prepared food, and how to clean and sanitize surfaces, pots, pans, and other cooking utensils in-between use.
Transporting food in accordance with proper sanitation procedures can be challenging for caterers. Be sure to ask your caterer how they plan to transport your food from their kitchen to your event — this is particularly important if the caterer won’t have access to an onsite kitchen after delivery. Hot and cold foods must be kept at a certain, constant temperature, even during travel.
Set Up and Serving
Hot and cold foods must be kept at the proper temperature throughout the event. Cold foods should be kept on ice, and hot foods must be placed on or underneath a continuous source of heat that won’t burn or dry out the food. Staff members should check the temperature of both cold and hot food frequently during the event to ensure that temps are staying within the proper safety ranges.
If you are hosting an event where your caterer will be serving allergy-friendly foods, such as gluten free options, it’s important that they understand how to avoid cross contamination. Gluten-free foods should be prepared with dedicated pans and served with utensils that are used only for the gluten-free dish. Similar action should be taken for allergies to fish and shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts, and any other allergy-inducing food.
At Woodman’s, we have catering down to a science. Not only do we understand catering and food safety, we also have specific experience working with gluten-free and other allergy-free foods. We can help you host an event where everyone – even those with allergies – can enjoy delicious, fresh food. Contact us today to learn more or to book your catering event!
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