By Ben Chapman
When it comes to food safety temporary events can be problematic. Outbreaks have been linked to food festivals, community dinners and church fundraisers. The newest food safety infosheet is based on a September 2013 outbreak linked to a Shelby, North Carolina church fundraiser.
- At least 13 individuals who ate at a barbecue event were hospitalized with symptoms including abdominal cramping, diarrhea and vomiting.
- All preparers should know safe cooking/cooling temperatures and procedures. Hold meals and ingredients requiring temperature control either below 41°F or above 135°F.
- Purchase ingredients from commercial food businesses instead of homemade/donated foods and ask about food safety systems for suppliers.
- Community dinners can be great fundraisers but are often held at temporary sites and staffed by volunteers unfamiliar with safe food handling practices for large meals.
Author Ben Chapman is an assistant professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. He’s interested in learning from and sharing stories from outbreaks. Through using new methods and messages, Ben hopes to compel folks from farm-to-fork to change food safety behavior and create a culture of food safety.