Buffets have long been a favorite choice for wedding receptions. However, they have their pitfalls. Not only is there a risk of your guests getting sick from cross-contamination, you have to maintain the buffet throughout the night by switching out food and cleaning up messes. If you hire a wedding catering company to stay with you throughout the event, they will take care of all of the necessary work for you. If you only hire them to drop off the food and leave, you will have to appoint someone to take care of the food for you. With this in mind, following are a few ways you can keep your catered food safe for consumption. 

Use Small Serving Dishes

Instead of having your catering company deliver large containers of food, have them divide each dish into several smaller containers. This will allow you to keep extra food in the oven or fridge until it’s needed. If they do deliver large containers, separate the food into small ones and store for later. Hot items should be kept in an oven set at 200 to 250 degrees. Cold items should be stored in a fridge. 

Keep Food Fresh and Safe

Do not allow food to sit at room temperature. Keep hot food in warming trays and cold food on ice. In most cases, the catering company you’re using will loan you the necessary serving equipment to keep your food safe. Hot food should maintain an internal temperature of 135 degrees or greater, whereas cold food must stay at 41 degrees or cooler. To make sure your food is within the desired range, check it with an internal thermometer frequently. 

When adding new food to the buffet, do not pour the new food on top of the old food. Instead, remove the container of old food and replace it completely with the new container. At a buffet, food quickly becomes contaminated with bacteria from people’s hands. So it’s a good idea to change food out frequently.

Pay Attention to Time

It’s easy for time to get away from you, especially at a wedding reception. However, your buffet attendant has to pay attention to the clock. Instruct them to not allow leftovers or perishable foods to sit out for longer than 2 hours unless it’s being kept hot or cold. 

Food safety is a serious matter, especially where buffets are concerned. If you take the time to follow safe food-handling instructions, however, you will keep your guests healthy and happy.