Health Watch - Food Safety: Safe Entertaining

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about preventing food-borne illnesses. Safe handling – refrigeration, cleaning and thorough cooking – can help prevent food poisoning. Being careful about how you serve food is also important, especially at parties.

Food sitting around for a while, like it does at parties, can be a recipe for food poisoning. Dr. Vickie Vaclavik, a clinical dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says hosts need to remember the two-hour rule. Foods shouldn’t be left out at room temperature for more than two hours because that’s when bacteria have a chance to develop. This applies to foods involving cream, milk, eggs or meat. Either keep cold foods on ice and hot foods at 140 degrees or warmer or replace foods every two hours. Put out smaller quantities and replace them frequently. Put out fresh platters instead of adding fresh food to platters that have been sitting out.     

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September 2010


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