When Christmas music is playing and the bells for New Year's Eve are ringing, it is time for families and friends to gather together to have fun! Many restaurants offer buffets catering to this festive theme for all to celebrate the occasion. While enjoying ourselves in the feast, it is necessary to watch out for potential food risks related to buffets and not to ruin the atmosphere by any food poisoning incidents.
Raw oysters, sashimi, sushi and salads are popular at buffets. As these foods are eaten uncooked, they are subject to higher food safety risk. To enjoy them safely, make sure the raw or cold dishes are kept in refrigerators or on ice (at 4 ℃ or below) to prevent bacterial growth.
Most foods served at buffets are cooked and then displayed for customers to choose from. Be aware that hot foods should be displayed in warming trays and kept at a safe temperature which is at 60 ℃ or above. Consume foods as soon as possible and never leave them at room temperature for a long period of time.
For foods that are cooked on the spot such as BBQ and hotpot foods and noodles, check whether the foods are thoroughly cooked and observe whether food handlers properly separate raw and cooked foods during preparation and cooking to avoid cross contamination. Juices from thoroughly cooked meats and poultry should be clear and not red. If in doubt, ask the chefs to cook the foods again until they are thoroughly cooked. To prevent cross contamination between different foods, use a clean plate or bowl to take foods each time instead of reusing the same one, and use designated utensils as provided for picking up raw and cooked foods separately. We must also observe food hygiene by covering the food container with the lid provided after taking food each time.
Last but not least, all of us should maintain a balanced diet and not overeat at buffets. The elderly, children, pregnant women and people with weakened immunity should avoid eating high-risk foods such as foods to be eaten raw and cold dishes as far as possible. Bear in mind the above three secrets and you can enjoy a festive feast with your family happily and healthily at this Christmas and the New Year!