The Holidays are here again! Cold weather, warm fires, family and friends, shopping, the smell of pumpkin spice and oh yes… FOOD, lots and lots of food! This time of year, office and corporate parties abound. Employees are treated to a smorgasbord of meats, salads, side dishes and desserts. The number of people eating at these events can range from 5 to 500 or more. Out of the 35,000 plus food service establishments in Georgia, your restaurant was chosen to cater one of these events. What could possibly go wrong?
To give you an idea, during the months of November and December of 2009 through 2018, there were seven reported foodborne outbreaks linked to holiday meals. These meals were either served at a restaurant or catered from a permitted food service establishment and served elsewhere. These seven outbreaks accounted for 870 illnesses with a median of 42 illnesses per outbreak. The illnesses were due to Clostridium perfringens, norovirus, and Salmonella.