Health Watch — Party Time: Buffet Safety

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the holiday party season. Since most of us don’t employ maids and footmen to serve meals for dinner parties, a buffet is an easier serving option. But be kind to your party guests by observing food safety rules.

Vickie Vaclavik, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you should remember the two-hour rule — food shouldn’t sit out at room temperature for more than two hours. Cream-based products, eggs, meats and milk all are prone to bacterial growth if they’re not kept either hot or cold. To serve these kinds of foods, either put out small portions that can be discarded and then replaced every two hours, or else use warming trays or ice to keep the foods at the proper temperature on the buffet line. When you’re replenishing your buffet, put out fresh platters of food instead of adding fresh food to dirty dishes.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.


December 2008

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