Halloween is observed in a number of countries on the 31 October.
Otherwise known as All Saints’ Eve it marks part of the three-day observance of Hallowtide which runs from 31 October to 2 November annually.
Modern Halloween celebrations include dressing up for costume parties, decorating with pumpkins carved into jack-o-lanterns, spooky decorations and games such as apple bobbing.
It’s a good excuse for friends, family and community groups to hold a party. Children visit homes in their neighborhood playing ‘trick or treat’.
If you are catering for a crowd, follow these food safety tips for your Halloween Party.
If serving foods like salads or dips at your party, bear in mind that they are particularly at risk of spreading food-borne illness. Don’t leave foods like this standing at room temperature for too long before being served. It’s best to keep them refrigerated as much as possible and bring to the able as close to serving as you can.
Pumpkin soup is a great way to use up all that pumpkin flesh scooped out when making jack-o-lanterns. It is a party pleaser if you, your family and friends have been out trick-or-treating in the cold. There is something very comforting about a cup or bowl of warmed soup on a cold night!
If preparing soup or stews in advance it is important that the temperature is cooled adequately so that every part of the product is reduced from 120°F to 70°F within two hours. It should then be cooled to 45°F or below within four additional hours. Following these guidelines reduces the length of time that food is in the hazardous range at which harmful bacteria can grow. Food temperatures should be measured with a probe thermometer.
When it comes to reheating pre-prepared soup or stews, the food must be reheated to 165°F or above and held above 140°F until served. Testing that these temperatures are achieved is an important precaution to ensure that sufficient temperature has been reached to destroy bacteria that can cause food poisoning and just as important, prevents bacteria from growing in the food while being held for serving.
By following these simple tips, you know you have reduced the risk and can get on with enjoying your Halloween Party.