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Best Practices for Caterers

Best Practices for CaterersAs a caterer, you strive to put out beautiful and delicious food for your clientele. However, the nature of the job requires that food be prepared and transported in different locations, which leaves room for food contamination, unsafe handling practices, and more risks. In order to address these common concerns, we have complied a list of best practices to be upheld by caterers to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. In addition, secure a comprehensive Westchester County Catering Insurance policy to ease your liability concerns.

Prep and transport of food.

According to Eco Lab Food Safety, one particular pressure point for a caterer is timely preparation and transportation of foods to their destinations at proper temperatures (outside of the Temperature Danger Zone of 41F – 135F). Common mistakes are made by staff members who cook foods at their commissary or restaurant and transport these hot or cold items without temperature controls. These foods are at risk of bacterial growth including Clostridium perfringens – a spore-former which survives cooking, proliferates, and then produces a toxin when exposed to temperatures between 41F and 135F. Reheating the foods at the event location does not destroy this toxin once produced and poses serious risk of causing a foodborne illness outbreak.

Preventing catering risks.

Here are some strategies to implement to reduce the risk of contaminating food during preparation and transport.

  • Utilize food thermometers to monitor the temperature of foods, especially meat.
  • Use clean and sanitized equipment.
  • Work quickly when preparing and moving food to its destination.
  • Wear gloves to minimize bare hand contact with prepared foods.
  • Transport hot foods at 135 degrees and cold foods at or below 41 degrees to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Ensure the delivery vehicle is clean, sanitized, and ready to go.
  • Track how long foods are left out at room temperature. If they go longer than 4 hours, they should be discarded.

About A.J. Benet

At A.J. Benet, we strive to provide quality solutions for specialized markets including caterers and food service providers. We understand the various yet unique risk exposures you face, such as food-borne illness, workers’ compensation, and liquor liability, which is why we offer comprehensive solutions for professionals like you. For more information, contact us today at (914) 381-2040.

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