Plate It Safe

  • Use clean dishes and utensils for serving—use nothing that touched raw meat, fish, or poultry unless it was cleaned in hot, soapy water first.
  • Avoid keeping perishable foods on a serving table or at room temperature for longer than two hours (one hour in hot weather 90° F or above). That includes cooked meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dishes made with these ingredients.
  • For buffet-type service keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Serve cold foods on ice, at a temperature of 40° F or below. Use heated servers such as a chafing dish to keep hot foods hot. After two hours discard even these foods.
  • When replenishing serving dishes, don't mix fresh food with food that's been sitting out. For more about Clostridium perfringens contamination on buffets, see "Bacteria: Hard Hitters " earlier in this chapter.
  • Refrigerate leftovers as soon as you're done eating. That includes leftover pizza!
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