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Don't get your holiday guests sick

Simple food rules to follow when cooking in quantity

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It's that time of the year, where you are cooking in quantity. Whether it's for a holiday get-together, a dinner for family or maybe even a school party, there are some safety measures you need to keep in mind so you don't make your guests sick.

"So when you're cooking for only family, maybe there is four or five or even six of you, but when you're cooking for suddenly 20 or 30 people, there's just different things you have to think about than if you're cooking for five or six," explained K-State food safety specialist Londa Nwadike.

Nwadike says foodborne illness outbreaks have been linked to church dinners and school fundraisers, so keep the following things in mind to avoid food poisoning.

  • Meats go on the bottom shelves of the fridge and produce goes on top.
  • Don't store canned foods on the floor.
  • Always check the temperature of your meat before serving.
  • Make sure you aren't using any large container you have lying around.

"You might not have a big enough container for all these things so you can't just use a garbage can or a garbage bag or whatever five gallon bucket you can find to put food into," explained Nwadike. "You have to make sure that you're using food-grade containers to make sure you're not going to get any chemical or microbial contamination."

One last thing to remember: Always wash your hands, even if you are wearing gloves.