Despite the lifting of COVID-19 dining restrictions nationwide, it's vital that you follow all food service guidelines when planning your event. As you plan ongoing events, you may also wish to consider which COVID-19 restrictions you would like to keep in your regular playbook.
We've put together a list of tips around safety requirements for events so that you can create an event that is memorable and rewarding at the same time.
Educating your team about food safety
Regardless of whether they donate, prepare, cook, or serve food, all food handlers need to be well-trained and competent in hygiene practices. Food-borne illnesses are minimized by the FDA by keeping food safe.
- Cleaning. Throughout the food preparation process, thoroughly wash your hands and workspace.
- Keep them separate. Prepare raw meat separately from other foods by using separate utensils and equipment.
- Food prep. All cooked meats should be measured with a thermometer, and food safety temperatures must be maintained (cold or hot) for all prepared foods.
With the knowledge you have, you can ensure your team members are clean and careful, and that your food is safe to eat. Your local health department can provide you with food safety information.
To identify hazards and reduce any risks, assign work health and safety responsibilities to one team member. Food safety is the responsibility of everyone on your team, but this team member could serve as the go-to person for training, questions, and implementing best practices.
How to sell or serve food safely at events
To ensure that no one gets sick from the food you provide, there are several legal safety requirements for events that you must meet.
All foods provided at events in the United States must be safe to eat, as well as in compliance with state food laws and food standards. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed a food standards code that you must follow in order to stay up to date. It is enforced by your state and county health departments.
In order to prepare and sell food and sell liquor, you must first obtain a license from your local health department (often called a food vendor's license). Afterward, your food preparation facility will be inspected again, and the process will repeat annually. In addition to ensuring food safety at temporary events, restaurants need food licenses.
Keeping COVID-19 practices in mind
Despite COVID-19 dramatically altering the nature of events and gatherings, some of the protocols might be worth maintaining. Bacteria, viruses, and bacteria have always existed, and they won't disappear anytime soon. Make sure your attendees are safe and comfortable by following these practices.
- Considering the activities and setting of your event, assess the level of risk
- Encourage staff to stay at home if they're not feeling well and the same goes for attendees
- Keep surfaces clean between each use and disinfect surfaces at the event
- Make your event as spacious as possible and limit the number of attendees
View the full list of recommendations for restaurants and bars on the CDC's website.
Applying your knowledge of food safety
Knowing the basic safety requirements for food events puts you in a great position to identify any additional safety requirements specific to your event. Next, you need to successfully market your event, increase ticket sales, and improve your marketing strategies and tactics. Making your first food event a success is as easy as following our guide.
Need help marketing your next event? Contact us!