February 2021

Avoid Souring Your Sweet Day - Love Our Valuable Tips

Whether you’re planning to eat out or pick up a special dinner to eat at home, make sure you celebrate Valentine’s Day safely so that food poisoning doesn’t sour your sweet day.
Man and woman eating in restaurant

Four Tips for Dining Out

While some restaurants are currently open for limited capacity or outdoor seating, they must follow food safety guidelines set by local health departments. You can also take some simple steps to have a nice dinner without taking home more than your leftovers.

  • When being seated, make sure the table is clean and that the hostess and wait staff don’t touch the tips of your silverware with their bare hands.
  • Avoid ordering dishes containing raw or undercooked meats or seafood – these foods need to be cooked thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria.
  • When ordering a hot dish, make sure the food is hot when delivered to your table. If only lukewarm, the food may not have been cooked long enough or could have been sitting at room temperature for some time.
  • Get any leftovers into the refrigerator within two hours.

Eating at Home

Whether you are picking up food to eat at home or having it delivered, here is what you need to do to avoid getting sick from unsafe food practices.

  • When picking up a meal, run all your other errands first and get the food last so that you can take it home right away. Cooked food needs to be kept at above 140° F (60° C) to stop bacteria growing or eaten within 2 hours.
  • If you aren’t planning to eat take-out food right away, place the food in a warm oven or store it in the refrigerator for reheating later.
  • If you plan to reheat prepared foods, warm them until they reach an internal temperature of at least 165° F (74° C) before enjoying.
  • Any cold dishes that you ordered need to be kept refrigerated until just before serving.
  • When having food delivered, make sure that hot dishes arrive hot, and either eat them right away or place them in the oven so the food’s internal temperature stays at above 140° F (60° C) to stop bacteria from growing.

Enjoying Leftovers

If your favorite restaurant or take-out meal is too big to finish, place the leftovers in the refrigerator as soon as you finish eating or at most within two hours. If you won't be eating them within one to two days, it’s best to wrap them in freezer-safe packaging and place them in the freezer. You can then thaw them in the refrigerator or reheat in the oven.