When it comes to the worst wedding disasters, your guests getting sick on your big day is high on the list. As the host, it’s important you protect your invitees from foodborne illnesses.
With that in mind, here are five tips for safe food storage during your reception.
1. Use Onsite Facilities
If you are hosting your reception at a full-service venue, you probably have the onsite restaurant prepare your meals. Therefore, they should remain responsible for keeping everyone safe — but you must still perform your due diligence.
Investigate your venue’s health records before you book. While an occasional mark for something could represent an accident — perhaps they had a new person in the kitchen on inspection day — repeated code violations should give you pause.
2. Serve Non-Perishable Snacks
You don’t want your guests going hungry between courses, but if you don’t have a full-service wait staff, it’s challenging to keep up with buffet-table maintenance.
Why not stick to serving non-perishable snacks before and after the main course? Soy-and-sesame kale chips and crispy roasted chickpeas make diet-conscious choices that won’t go bad and delight vegan and keto-friendly guests alike.
3. Consider Coolers
What if you are having an outside wedding? You don’t want to leave foods like potato salad sitting out, even if the weather is less scorching this time of year.
Foods aren’t inherently unsafe, but exposure to outdoor air lets potentially harmful bacteria proliferate. You need to know when the cleanup time arrives.
Experts advise leaving refrigerated food out for no more than two hours to prevent contamination. If you don’t have wait staff on hand to clear away guest plates, you’ll need to pack up the buffet after this time.
5. Keep Food Separated
Finally, you always want to separate food for one principal reason — to avoid cross-contamination. For example, you should never leave raw meat to defrost on the top shelf of the fridge, as juices could drip onto anything from beverage cans to broccoli.
Another reason to keep things separate is for your guests with celiac disease. Even small amounts of food containing gluten can make them ill. Using the same spoon for both sweet potatoes and stuffing could send an afflicted person to the hospital.
Store Your Food Safely During Your Reception With These Tips
You don’t want your guests to get food poisoning. Please use these tips to store your food safely during your reception.