Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cooking Safely for a Crowd: lesson stresses how to safely cook for a crowd

 Does your organization serve hot dogs as a community fundraiser?  Does your church serve dinners to the public?  Do you work at your 4-H club food stand at the county fair?  Are you planning a graduation party?  Are you in charge of this year's family reunion?  It is critical that all large group food event volunteers know and practice safe food handling techniques. 


You may be a good cook, but cooking for a crowd is different than cooking at home.  There's a lot to learn about how to plan, prepare and serve food in quantities as well as how to make sure the food is safe.  One in four Americans will get sick from a food-related illness this year.  Family or community members that are elderly, young, suffering from a chronic disease or pregnant, are more vulnerable to foodborne illnesses and need to be served food that meets the highest standards of food preparation and service.  While foodborne illnesses can be as mild as a stomach ache, they can also be fatal.


The University of Minnesota Extension Food Science team has developed free training materials highlighting food safety practices you need to implement when planning, preparing, and serving food to a large group so on one gets sick.  The fifteen minute Cooking Safely for a Crowd DVD and accompanying materials can be viewed or downloaded at  The DVD and materials can also be checked out free of charge from local County Extension Offices.  This will make an excellent educational program at the next meeting of your community club or service organization.


For questions or for more information about this resource, contact Connie at 507-337-2819 or - Connie Schwartau, Extension Program Coordinator in Food Science, U of M Extension Regional Office, Marshall

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