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Food Safety: Serving

Topic Overview

You can help prevent food poisoning by taking precautions when serving food.

  • Keep hot foods hot [60°C (140°F) or above] and cold foods cold [4°C (40°F) or below].
  • Never leave meat, poultry, eggs, fish, or shellfish (raw or cooked) at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Throw away any food that has been left out for 2 hours or more.
  • If the temperature outdoors is above 32°C (90°F), refrigerate food within 1 hour. (This is often the case during summer picnics.)
  • Chill leftovers as soon as you finish eating.
  • Store leftovers in small, shallow containers to cool rapidly.
  • Do not reheat food that has been out at room temperature too long. Reheating does not make it safe.
  • If you are not sure how long a food has been in the refrigerator, throw it out.
  • If you are not sure whether a food is safe, throw it out.

When you eat out, be sure that meat is cooked thoroughly and that foods that should be refrigerated, such as puddings and cold cuts, are served cold. Also pay attention to the restaurant environment. If the tables, dinnerware, and washrooms look dirty, the kitchen may be too.

Credits

Adaptation Date: 5/7/2021

Adapted By: Alberta Health Services

Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services

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