"Hot N Cold": A Katy Perry Guide for Food Safe Take-Out
When you hear your guests stomachs “ROAR,” it’s time to order take out. You will be joining the over 48 million individuals ordering and picking up or having take-out delivered this Super Bowl Sunday. Avoid having your guests calling the doctor for food poisoning by following these quick tips for food safe take-out.
It’s Hot then It’s Cold
Hot foods, such as chicken wings and pizza, need to stay at an internal temperature at 140 °F or above. To avoid potentially harmful bacteria from growing in your pizza, place it in a preheated oven to stay warm. Only put a portion of the pizza out for guests to eat. You can refresh the pizza with warm pizza from the oven. As an added bonus, this will ensure your guest always have warm pizza!
It’s Cold then It’s Out
If hot foods stay out at room temperature for over two hours, they are unsafe to eat and should be thrown in the trash. Leaving food out too long at room temperature can cause bacteria to grow to dangerous levels that can cause illness. When your hot take-out food arrives, immediately put it in a chafing dish, preheated warming tray, or slow cooker to keep the internal temperature at 140 °F or above.
It’s Yes then It’s No
Food safety isn’t just a concern for warm take-out dishes. Cold items, such as cut carrots and celery, blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing and submarine sandwiches, need to be kept at or below an internal temperature of 40 °F. You can keep these cold take-out items cold by nesting serving dishes in bowls of ice. Alternatively, use small platters that are replaced with NEW fresh refrigerated platters. Do NOT add fresh food to serving dishes already on the table. Just like with hot take-out foods, all cooled perishable foods left out longer than 2 hours at room temperature should be discarded.