Buffet Service Tips from Food Safety Certification MN training:
The month of December is usually filled with holiday parties and special events. Whether it’s a family gathering, a corporate Christmas party or other large gathering to celebrate the holidays, the buffet line is the most common solution to feeding a large party. Buffet lines may simplify food service, but they create a set of food safety issues that may be outside the course of normal operations.
Most food safety issues relating to buffet service are common sense and taught during food safety certification MN training, but there are a few issues that are often overlooked for the sake of convenience or by food handlers who are simply not used to running a buffet line.
Buffet Line Food Safety Issues
A major food safety issue that should be addressed and monitored is temperature control. All hot, ready to eat foods that are served must maintain an internal temperature of 140 degrees. The exception to this rule is hot-held roasts which can be held with an internal temperature of 130 degrees.
Hot foods can be a problem, but the biggest issue that most health inspectors find on buffet style service is cold-held foods not being held at a low enough temperature. Cold-held foods must be kept at a temperature below 41 degrees at all times. While hot-held foods can be maintained using chafer dishes or heat lamps, cold held foods require more diligence to be kept cold.
Here are a few other issues that we suggest you closely monitor:
- Available garbage receptacle kept clean and away from food
- Serving utensils and dishes remain clean and back-up utensils are available
- Non-latex gloves are available to food handlers
- Cleaning towels are available and soiled towels are removed from service
The easiest way to prevent food safety issues from occurring during buffet service is to address them before service begins. Thorough preparation is the key to a safe and successful venture.
After the holidays is usually a great time to register for your food safety certification MN training and exam. It’s easy to sign-up for one of the Safe Food Training instructor lead courses scheduled around the Twin Cities or stay home (where it’s warm) and take our on-line course.