Potluck Parties – Food Safety Guidelines

Christmas dinner on table

Potluck parties are a very popular way to celebrate with friends and family. People like potluck parties because they reduce the burden of cooking and food preparation for everyone. However, before you share your favourite dishes, take a little time to learn and practice basic food safety. Different foods need to be handled and cooked differently, and it is important for you to equip yourself with the latest recommendations.

Be Clean

  • Wash your hands
  • Keep food preparation surfaces and equipment clean
  • Separate raw foods from cooked or ready-to-eat foods

 Control Food Temperatures

  • cook foods to the minimum safe internal temperature
  • use a food thermometer to reach correct temperatures
  • Cool foods quickly – refrigerate hot foods within 2 hours
  • Store hot foods hot  (60°C or higher)
  • Store cold foods cold (4°C or lower)
  • Transport hot foods or cold foods in a cooler or insulated container that can maintain the correct temperatures
  • Throw away any hazardous food left at room temperature (danger zone 4°C – 60°C) for longer than 2 hours

 Avoid Contamination

  • Provide utensils (spoons, forks, tongs, etc) for each food item so people do not touch the food with bare hands
  • Cover food items until ready to serve
  • Provide spoons for dips to avoid double dipping or cut food items into small pieces that can only be dipped once