Safely prepared and handled food keeps students safe

Veterinary student, masters of public health student, newspuller and occasional blogger Gonzalo Erdozain writes:

As a veterinary student at Kansas State, I get a lot of free food – pizza, BBQ, even fully catered meals. This past Tuesday, at our Bovine Club meeting, we had our food catered by Hy-Vee here in Manhattan, KS. To my surprise, and delight, I observed the delivery chef test each one of the lasagna platters with a digital thermometer, and write down each temperature on a temp. sheet. Our club’s president then signed the sheet and we went about our business. Today, I called Hy-Vee to ask a few questions. Here’s the scoop.

Everything they cook is up to par with the recommendations made by the Kansas Department of Health. I specifically asked about poultry, and the manager quickly answered, “we cook all our poultry to 165 ºF.” He explained that all hot foods must be over 141 ºF at the time of delivery, while cold foods must be bellow 41 ºF. If they are out of that range, they ask the customer whether to reheat it or make a new batch. They fill in the temp. sheet, have it signed by the customer and leave printed instructions to discard any leftover food within 4 hours due to food safety risks past that timeframe. Now that I don’t have to worry about food poisoning from these events, I can focus on not contaminating my food with formalin.