The bride and groom were on a tight budget so she agreed to let a friend who works in a restaurant handle the food preparation and service for the reception. That evening the bride met a number of her guests at the emergency room, all, including her, suffering from food poisoning. The culprit was determined to be improperly stored Ranch dressing, which had been made in advance and left at room temperature for several hours.
Don’t let a similar problem ruin your event. Just because someone works in a restaurant or for a caterer, doesn’t mean they fully understand how to safely handle perishable foods. Even professionals occasionally have issues. You can do your part to reduce the chance of making your guests ill by carefully choosing the menu. Will it be a hot day and an outside reception or picnic? If so, don’t serve milk or egg based foods, such as Ranch dressing, mayonnaise or deviled eggs, or seafoods, such as shrimp. Keep things cold as much as possible. If a refrigerator is not available, use coolers containing ice. Serve salads and similar dishes on a bed of ice. Keep tables in the shade.
After the event, toss leftovers. Don’t take a chance by taking all the leftover shrimp salad home for dinner. You could look like the green man above, or worse. Just because it looks okay, doesn’t mean it is. And remember, you are liable for the medical costs of anyone who becomes ill should they choose to pursue it.
It isn’t always possible to prevent every case of food poisoning or hepatitis A, but you can do your part to reduce the possibility of making your event a bit too memorable for the wrong reason.