The following information was provided by Cheryl Lebeau, Biological Health & Safety Specialist, UConn.
These procedures need to be followed when serving food. Students bringing take out food or food from a grocery store need to be cognizant of the food safety rules in order to avoid food borne illness.
- Containers or dishes of warm dishes must be kept in a chafing dish with sterno in order to maintain hot food temperatures at 140°F or higher
- Containers or dishes of cold foods can be kept on ice to maintain the cold food temperature at 45°F or below
- If food service at the event will be under one hour, then ice and sterno may not be necessary, but food left out at room temperature should be discarded after two hours. To help keep take-out food hot or cold between pick-up and service, it must be transported in a cooler.
- Use separate supplies of ice for cooling bottled drinks and for ice that is intended to be used in cups.
- For either hot or cold foods, if the temperatures have been maintained as noted above, refrigerate any left-over food immediately.
- Do not add food that has been out to a new full pan of food. If the previous supply was accidentally contaminated, then mixing will contaminate the new pan.
- Use clean/sanitized spoons, ladles, tongs or other utensils for serving food. Have a few extra utensils available in the event that one or more are dropped. As with all buffet/salad bar situations, a clean plate is recommended for each visit to the buffet.
- For pizza, the same rules apply. It should be discarded after two hours at room temperature. If the food has been out for only a short period of time, the left-overs should be refrigerated promptly. Make sure people use utensils or napkins to serve themselves, not their hands.
The Biological Health & Safety Office can provide dial-type thermometers to student organizations holding food events. (Jane Brown in Chase Hall has the thermometer.)
Additional information can be found at www.ehs.uconn.edu.