- Planning a party is never easy. You have guests coming through to show their love and support and you always want to make sure it is worthwhile for them. In this article, we’ll be talking about one of the best ways to keep your guests happy. We’ll be looking at how to keep foods cold at a party and the different ways you can go about this.
Things get hotter during the summertime but that’s the best time of the year to host any party. No wet grounds, no chills. Everybody’s moving around in their vintage shirts and sleeveless gowns trying to stay fresh. During this period, people tend to consume a lot of cold content (food or drink) to prevent their bodies from the effects of the hot weather. Also, if you’re hosting any party during this period, your guests expect you to keep the cold food cold at all cost; it should always be a priority. It doesn’t matter where the party is being held; at the beach or just at the back of the house, keeping your guests entertained with the foods that are best-served chilled is the best! Nobody wants to attend a summer party where the drinks are not chilled, except as a result of some reasons which have to be concrete.
There’s something nice about get-togethers. It’s a time where you get to be around the people you love, and we bet you will always try to create enough memories to hold on to. One big thing you should avoid is letting foodborne issues get in the way. Keeping your food at the recommended temperatures will even make the party more fun. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the recommended temperature for cold foods is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit is not ideal for cold foods and it’s only a matter of time before food poisoning sets in if you leave for a longer period. Keeping your food cold at a party may seem hard but that’s why we’re here to help out. Whatever you do, always ensure you avoid the ‘danger zone’. We mentioned earlier that any food kept above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for cold foods is dangerous. Likewise, anything below 140 degrees Fahrenheit for hot foods is also dangerous. Why this is regarded as the ‘danger zone’ is because the temperature is perfect for bacteria to a point where they can harm whoever consumes the food.
A lot of people make keeping foods cold outside seem like a hard task. It’s not. You only have to have the right techniques, coupled with the right equipment. As long as you stick to the safety precautions (the recommended temperatures), you can be confident that you’ll get the perfect results with these methods. Here are different ways to keep foods cold during an outdoor party.
Before we get into several ways to keep your foods cold at a picnic, let’s quickly take a look at how to prevent your cold food from falling into the danger zone.
HOW TO PREVENT YOUR COLD FOOD FROM FALLING ABOVE 40 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT
It’s very important to know how to keep your cold foods away from the danger zone. You don’t want a party where your guests will leave less healthy than they were before coming to the party. The reality of the matter is that it is easy for your cold foods to fall into the danger zone. However, the good news is that it can be prevented. Below are the different ways to make sure your cold foods stay below 40 degrees Fahrenheit which is the best and safest temperature.
KEEP YOUR FOOD COVERED
Getting your food cold isn’t a problem. There are several different ways to do this but keeping it within the safe zone is not always easy sometimes. One of the best ways to ensure your cold foods don’t go above the recommended temperature is to always keep them covered. If you’re storing them in a cooler, it’s better to leave them covered and only open when you need to take something out of it. The downside of this method is when the food is being served. You’ll have to open eventually and since all your guests won’t be eating all at once, you might risk getting the foods above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a basic method. It’s most effective when used with other methods like the cooler mats which we’ll be discussing later.
ENSURE THE FOOD IS CHILLED BEFORE PACKING IT UP
It’s better to leave your food to be properly chilled before packing it up and have it below the danger zone than rush things and have it unsafe for people to consume. This depends on where the party is being held. If you’re having the party just at the back of the house, there’s no point taking the food out of the refrigerator unless it’s time to serve, and you can easily put them back in the refrigerator once you’re done with them. However, if the venue of the party is far from home, you might make the chilled foods the last set of things you’ll be packing. This way, you’re giving these foods the perfect preservation they need to be safe for consumption. You should only take them out of the refrigerator when it’s time to leave for the party.
KEEP THE COOLERS AWAY FROM THE SUN
If you’re using coolers to keep your foods chilled, you need to get them as far away from the sun as possible so the temperature won’t rise to the danger zone. A lot of people make the mistake of leaving the coolers that are meant to keep their cold foods at the recommended room temperature inside their hot cars. This will only worsen matters. You can put them in the shade or anywhere with no direct sunlight and hotness.
USE SEPARATE COOLERS FOR DRINKS AND PERISHABLE FOODS
You’ll be making a great mistake if you pack those salads in the same container as the beverages. Without doubts, the container with drinks is likely to be opened more often than the other ones. So, when you put these things in a single cooler, there’s no way it won’t affect the foods you’re trying to keep below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
USE LEAKPROOF CONTAINERS WHEN YOU’RE USING ICE FOR PERISHABLE FOODS
Ice is seen as a quick fix. It is by far one of the fastest ways to keep things chilled, and the good thing is that it’s mobile. For example, you are trying to keep potato salads cold at a picnic. Don’t forget to store them in a leakproof container so the water produced by the ice won’t affect them. Don’t forget to do this if you want to preserve the food’s taste and nutrients at the same time. You can’t lose those things all in the name of getting the foods to remain cold.
If you follow these four instructions properly, you’re likely not to put your foot on the wrong gas. It’s never going to be easy keeping those foods cold, especially if the party is away from home. However, it can only get better.
HOW TO KEEP PARTY FOOD COLD
INVEST IN COOLERS
There’s a reason a cooler is called ‘cooler.’ Coolers have been around before the other modern cooling containers and they’ve remained relevant. That can only mean that they’ve been performing their responsibilities duly. They are very essential when it comes to storing your cold foods until you’re ready to serve them. The good thing is that they come in different sizes. You’ll only need to find the one that best matches the purpose for which you’re trying to use it. Once you find the right size, all you’ll then need to do is to stock it up with the right amount of food items. Usually, it is advisable to use the right size so the initial temperature can be maintained. If you use a bigger cooler, you might get the desired cooling results.
If you’re trying to keep your beverages cold, you can add a few ice packs to keep the temperature around the safe zone. Pack these soft ice packs in your cooler and watch your beverages as they chill up!
INSULATED FOOD CONTAINERS
Another great way to keep your cold food items cold is to turn to insulated food containers. They are the best option for perishable foods because they are built just for them. Once your food items have been chilled, all you need to do is export them to the insulated containers and they’ll maintain the same temperature for a long time. This is best if you’re having a party away from home and you need to keep those potato salads cold so they can be served in their best conditions. Do you know what else is amazing about these containers? They can also serve as serving plates!
YOU CAN SERVE YOUR FOODS AND STILL KEEP THEM COLD
Sometimes, you just need to look around you and maximize those things that seem to be old-fashioned or odd. There are other ways to keep your food cold, even when you’re serving them. These methods give you the confidence to bring your food out in the open, serve them without the fear of having their temperature rise above the recommended one.
One of the best ways to do this is to turn the ice pack and cold mats and use them to your advantage. How is that possible? Set your salads in those serving dishes and lay the dishes on an ice pack or cold mat. This way, you can serve your food out in the open and not have its temperature rise above the norm. The good thing about this method is that it can be used anywhere you’re holding a party. It has proved to be a very effective method over the years.
Another way to keep your foods cold while serving them is by getting an inflatable buffet ice tray. Blow some air into it and fill it up with ice, then proceed to set your salads and fruits on without any problem. It is easy to use and that’s one of the things people love about this buffet tray. Once you’re done using it, you can easily deflate it and pack it in your bag. It’s that simple! Keeping foods cold on a buffet table shouldn’t be a problem anymore.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best way to keep food cold in a cooler?
One of the best ways to keep food cold in a cooler is to chill the cooler itself before filling it up with food items. When you do this, you’re strengthening the cooler to keep ice for much longer than it normally should. Also, try as much as possible to freeze up your food items before putting them in the cooler. This way, the foods can maintain the usual temperature in the cooler for much longer.
2. Does salt make ice last longer?
According to Curbly, adding a pinch of salt to your ice can make it last longer because salt has the natural abilities to lower the freezing point of any particles.
3. Does aluminium foil keep ice from melting?
An article posted on IceNow claims that a recent study has proved that wrapping aluminium foil around your ice can prevent it from melting for about four hours.
As opposed to how difficult a lot of people believe keeping foods cold at a party is, it is really easy. It’s good to always have these methods up your sleeve because they can be very helpful in difficult situations. Keeping foods cold at a party is not daunting and we believe we’ve proved that throughout this article. Practice those simple ways and if you’re planning any party too, no matter how small, we believe these methods can come in handy.
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