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food safety for celebrations

Easter, Memorial Day, graduations, showers, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Independence Day: Spring and summer are bursting with happy occasions, so we’ve got tips for food safety for celebrations!

Sunshine Citrus Salad

Balsamic-Glazed Carrots

Lemon-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Twice-Baked Potatoes Makeover

Creamy Beef & Mushrooms with Noodles

Smothered Chicken & Green Bean Skillet

Lemon-Ginger Refrigerator Roll

Fast & Easy Tiramisu

Blissful Brownies

Serving Food Outdoors

  • When transporting food, keep perishables in a cooler with ice or freezer packs until serving time. Make sure food is cold before it goes in the cooler.
  • Eliminate the need to store and transport leftovers by packing just the amount of perishable foods that will be eaten.
  • Transport the cooler in an air-conditioned car instead of a hot trunk. At the site, keep the cooler in the shade and open it as little as possible.
  • Never leave foods at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the air temperature is over 90°F, perishable foods should be left out no longer than 1 hour.
  • If you purchase a large quantity of take-out food, such as fried chicken or barbecued beef, plan on eating the food within 2 hours of pickup. Otherwise, buy the food in advance, refrigerate and reheat just before serving.
  • Keep desserts made with whipped topping, cream cheese or dairy products refrigerated until ready to serve. Store leftovers in a refrigerator or cooler.
  • When preparing food outdoors away from home, bring a jug of water, soap and paper towels for washing hands in addition to a hand sanitizer.

Indoor Buffets

  • To keep foods appetizing, set out smaller platters and replenish them each hour or as needed. This also helps keep foods at safe serving temperatures.
  • Make sure hot foods are kept at 140°F or warmer. Use a chafing dish or warming tray.
  • Keep cold foods on ice or replace often to maintain a temperature of 45°F or colder.
  • Never leave foods at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • When refilling empty platters of meat- or dairy-based foods, replace or wash the serving platter. Residual food particles that have been sitting at room temperature may contaminate the fresh food.
  • Leave ready-to-eat foods containing eggs, meat and dairy products in the refrigerator until you serve them. This includes cream pies and cakes frosted with cream cheese or whipped topping.
  • If you know that guests will be delayed, reserve some of the temperature-sensitive foods to serve when they arrive. Hold the hot foods in the oven and the cold foods in the refrigerator.
  • When serving dips or dipping sauces, place a spoon near the serving bowl to discourage “double dipping.” This can help prevent contamination.

Find more safety tips for Holiday Foods.

food safety for celebrations
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