When preparing food for a crowd, keep in mind these safe-cooking basics:
■ Wash your hands with warm water and soap before handling food.
■ Keep your kitchen, dishes and utensils clean.
■ Always serve food on clean plates. Don’t use plates used for holding raw meat or poultry to hold cooked food. Bacteria can grow when food is left for more than two hours at room temperature. To prevent problems:
■ Keep cooked foods hot. Use chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays to keep foods hot on your buffet table.
■ Keep cold foods cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice or use small serving trays and replace them often.
■ Cool leftovers quickly in your refrigerator. Divide large portions of cooked foods into smaller portions to cool more quickly.
— Source: University of Nebraska