When it comes to cooking and serving, temperature is everything. Cooking food thoroughly is crucial for preventing foodborne illnesses. Follow these guidelines to protect your guests:
Product Type Min. InternalTemperature & Rest Time
Beef, Veal, Pork & Lamb Ground 160°F
Steaks, Chops, & Roasts 145°F & allow to rest for 3 min
Chicken & Turkey All Types 165°F
Eggs All Types 165°F
Fish & Shellfish All Types 160°F
Ham Fresh or Smokes (uncooked) 165°F
Maintaining the proper food temperatures is still critical during serving. Constantly monitor food on your buffet to make sure it remains at a safe temperature:
Food Type Temperature
Hot 140°F or warmer
Cold 40°F or colder
Key Tip: Throw away all food that has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the air temperature is above 90 °F, discard after one hour.
Keep Your Cool with Ice
- Always use clean and sanitized containers and scoops to transfer ice from an ice machine to glasses when serving your guests.
- Store your ice scoops in a clean, protected location (use an ice scoop holder to keep the scoop protected from contaminants when not in use)
- Don’t scoop ice with your hands or a glass.
Take an inventory of your current supplies. Thermometers and ice scoops and holders are essentials for cooking and serving in any location. Don’t forget about hand safety products like oven mitts to protect kitchen staff from burns as well as special serving utensils to prevent cross-contamination for guests with allergies. Visit our page for special offers on products designed to help you cook and serve food safely.
Even though food safety month is once a year, it is imperative to practice food safety every day. Today, let’s talk about your service operation. It’s your responsibility to make sure your staff is serving food correctly. Here are 5 quick practices your staff should be doing.
- Use an ice scoop to put ice in a glass. Never use bare hands.
- Hold glasses by the bottom, or stem. Never hold glasses by the top.
- Use utensils to serve ready to eat food. Never use your bare hands.
- Store flatware with their handles facing up. Never grab flatware by the mount-contact surface.
- Serve condiments in their original packaging. Never re-serve uncovered condiments
Food safety month is a great time to set up training for your staff. This can be a 1-2 hour exercise on a Sunday morning, before opening hours, where you go over food safety best practices. Check out www.foodsafetymonth.com for tools you can use.
Some people like the taste of alcoholic drinks without chancing drinking and driving, or otherwise abstain completely from alcoholic beverages. “Mocktails” are the safe-to-drink variations of cocktails, and with one of the most iconic mocktails, Shirley Temple, having its namesake pass away this week, it’s a great time to look at a drink (and a range of drinks it is included in) that she made iconic.
Arnold Palmer, Shirley Temple, Freddie Bartholomew, Roy Rogers, and even Virgin Mary: these people may have nothing in common, outside of the fact they’re inspiration for mocktails. What does it take to make each of these?
- Arnold Palmer: 50% lemonade, 50% iced tea. When you can’t decide what cold drink to have for refreshment, go for this one.
- Freddie Bartholomew: ginger ale and lime juice.
- Shirley Temple: ginger ale (or lemon-lime soda), splash of grenadine, garnished with a maraschino cherry. Commonly, this can be made alcoholic and named “Shirley Temple Black”, her adult, married name, by the addition of vodka.
- Roy Rogers: cola and grenadine, garnished with a maraschino cherry.
- Virgin Mary: a non-alcoholic version of a Bloody Mary, containing tomato juice, Tabasco sauce, and garnished with a celery stalk.
Beyond these named for famous people, there are other mocktails that stand on their own.
- Virgin Colada: a non-alcoholic version of the Piña Colada, combining cream of coconut and pineapple juice, garnished with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry.
- Gunner: ginger beer or lemonade combined with ginger ale and a dash of lemon juice or lime cordial, and a dash of Angostura bitters (while considered non-alcoholic, bitters are 44.7% alcohol).
- Lemon, Lime and Bitters: lemonade, lime cordial, and Angostura bitters.
- Tortuga: Much like American Sweet Tea, a Tortuga is iced tea with brown sugar, garnished with cinnamon and a lime wedge.
Why might you want to look into serving mocktails?
Cost Efficiency and Safety
Many people might like these drinks when they’re in a situation where they can’t drink. Offering mocktails allows them to have a unique drink, but also allows you to not tap in to your expensive alcohol offerings. Some people may even want to look like they’re drinking (to act as if they’re keeping up with friends), so mocktails might allow them to continue a night without pressures from friends.
One way to even encourage patronage with non-alcoholic drinks is to offer free drinks to designated drivers. The designated driver concept is an honorable one for many bars and restaurants; in a good night of drinks and debauchery, one pal might opt to be the designated driver. While everyone else can enjoy their drinks with alcohol, he or she can have free drinks at the cost of not being alcoholic. One way to institute this program is to offer the designated driver a wristband; this wristband will indicate to staff, bartenders, and waitstaff that they’re not to have alcoholic drinks, but can have free drinks.
Mocktails can keep the world safe, and increase your profitability. Don’t make the mistake of skipping them on your menu.