The long days of summer are finally upon us! Summer is the perfect time for hosting outdoor events; however, beautiful weather means warmer temperatures. Whether the occasion is a graduation party, golf outing, wedding, or just a summer barbeque, there are a few things to remember when planning and hosting outdoor summer soirees.
Watch for bugs. Mosquitoes. Fruit Flies. Green Flies. All of these insects can be considered our enemies when it comes to outdoor events. Fight back with citronella candles placed on the tables, on the food tables, or with tiki torches placed around the area. Don’t forget the bug lights and bug spray! Cute and stylish bug nets are a great way to serve food outside without insects contaminating the food.
Drinks all around. The heat easily dehydrates us. Make sure there are plenty of cold refreshments (beyond the alcoholic ones!) for all guests. We don’t want guests dropping like flies!
Watch the Sun. The sun is our friend, but only for so long. There must be shade; we’re not trying to send Grandma into another round of hot flashes! Try to find a location with shady trees, or a venue with a patio overhang. For instant shade, purchase pop up tents (Available at stores like Dicks Sporting Goods). Also, a later start to the party, 3 or later, will save you from the sun’s strongest rays that occur from 10 AM to 4 PM.
Protect the Food. Warm weather provides ample opportunity for foodborne bacteria to thrive. Bacteria multiply quickly in the heat, and unfortunately for us this results in foodborne illness. Prevent sickness by properly transporting, storing, and serving food correctly in the heat.
Cold food should be stored at 40°F or below to prevent bacterial growth. Foods like salads and desserts in serving dishes can be placed directly on ice.
Hot food should be kept above 140° F. Wrap it up and keep the food in an air-tight, insulated container until it’s time to chow down.
Whether hot or cold, food should not sit out for more than 2 hours. In temperatures above 90° F food should not sit out for more than 1 hour.
And lastly, Enjoy the Summer Festivities!