Entering the Tasty Season: Fall Food Safety Tips
Apple picking, hiking, camping, fishing, pumpkin harvesting and carving, tailgating and bonfires are all fun things to do in the autumn months. Fall activities often involve enjoying autumn’s delicious foods. Just because it is cooler, you can’t ignore food safety though. Some food safety tips are the same no matter what season you are partying in.
Common Food Safety Should Always Be Followed
As with all seasons, you and your staff should always keep these standard food safety essentials in mind:
- Thoroughly wash your hands before and after prepping any food.
- Use clean utensils and cutting boards.
- Clean fruits and vegetables before cutting.
- Keep raw and cooked meats well separated.
- Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator.
- Use covers for all outdoor food to keep bugs away and to protect from sneezes or coughs.
Keep Food At the Right Temperatures
It is important to keep hot food hot and cold foods cold. Slow cookers, and buffet roasters will do the job, but require electricity. If electricity is not available, use chafing dishes with sterno.
If possible, serve fall foods in small batches, not keeping them out for more than two hours. For your cold items, a bed of ice works well.
Grilling? Keep Your Meats Separated
Tailgates are probably the most popular fall fun activity. Tailgating usually includes grilling. Again, this is a good time to be sure your fall food safety includes keeping the raw meats and cooked meats separated.
Cross contamination can cause serious illness. Keep the raw meats in a separate cooler all other food and drinks. While cooking meats, be sure to cook thoroughly. Having a meat thermometer handy is helpful, especially for thicker cuts of meat or chicken. Just because it has a good brown on the exterior doesn’t mean the inside is cooked.
If in Doubt, Throw it Out
If you are attending a fall outing and you have any concerns about food, the general rule is to throw it out. Two hours is your max time limit on food left out. The warmer it is outside, the less time your food is safe sitting out.
Be especially careful of dairy items and raw meat. The sniff test is not the best test for fall food safety. It could be going bad before the bacteria begins to smell.
Keep Your Fall Food Safety in Check with Certified On The Fly
Fall is a great time of year to be outdoors enjoying the cooler weather and the autumn leaves. Fall foods like chili and apple pie are popular at outdoor and indoor gatherings.
By using the fall food safety techniques explained here, you are keeping your guests safe from any food related illnesses. If your restaurant or catering service plans on serving food to the public this fall, make sure your team is food handler certified.
The online Texas Food Handler certification course with Certified On The Fly is the easiest and most affordable way a team can stay certified from the comfort of their own homes. Register online today to get started!Back to Blog