We talked with a few churches for best-practice suggestions on food preparation. Here's what they have to say:
Post Food Allergy Info
“We have individual warmers to keep food warm and have a lot of room to keep food cold in our large refrigerators. We also pay particular attention to food allergies when serving groups, especially in children’s ministries, so we have signs posted in all rooms regarding not providing any foods or snacks containing peanut products.” -- Laura Cox, Coordinator of Benevolence Ministries, Blackhawk Ministries
Contract out food service with professionals
“We actually have very few carry-in dinners. Instead, we use a licensed, third party that prepares food for our K–12 Christian school and other functions. Our church has a steam table and cooling equipment that those food preparers use.” -- Phil Steward, Business Administrator, Grove City Church of the Nazarene
Continuity of training
“When someone new comes into our kitchen team, we conduct an orientation so that they are familiar with our kitchen rules. We have cleaning tips posted to remind our kitchen workers to clean the countertops and surfaces, and we have added a commercial dishwasher that ensures that our kitchen tools are properly sanitized. We also ask that our kitchen workers wear gloves.” -- Karen Ross, Administrative Assistant, Christ’s Church at Georgetown
Take sanitation seriously
“I routinely use bleach to clean the dining tables, countertops, sinks and interiors of our stainless steel refrigerators. I use a litmus test (found at local food supply stores) to ensure that our bleach solution is strong enough to kill germs, but not toxic.” -- Audrey Hindle, Maintenance Department, Blackhawk Ministries
Want more food safety tips? Read Cooking for Groups here.
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