December 19, 2016 – The holidays are here and no celebration is complete without food. Whether you’re hosting a sit down dinner, buffet for a crowd, or taking a dish to a family gathering, the same food safety tips apply. Keep these safety tips in mind to ensure that you, your family, and friends have a happy holiday and no one comes down with a foodborne illness.

  • Wash hands frequently when preparing and serving food.
  • Keep cold foods cold – foods on a buffet can be kept cold by placing food dishes in a larger bowl of ice.
  • Arrange food on several small platters instead of one large platter. Refrigerate platters until it’s time to serve, and rotate within two hours.
  • Hot foods on a buffet can be kept hot with chafing dishes, crock pots, and warming trays and should be kept at 140º or warmer.
  • Chill leftovers within two hours. Keep the refrigerator at 40º or below.
  • Eat leftovers within 3-4 days. Reheat solid leftovers to 165º as measured by a food thermometer. Reheat liquid leftovers to a rolling boil.
  • Keep desserts that contain whipped cream, custards, creamy cheeses, and eggs in the refrigerator.

With a little planning, you can ensure a safe holiday party. Participants of the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program learn about eating healthy foods as well as how to keep foods safe. For more food safety, nutrition and program information, please call (530) 889-7350 or visit our website at

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