In the true Burner fashion, you wanna gift some food! Great! Now, how do we make sure no one gets sick? Well, Alberta Health Services wants you to be healthy, and knows how to help. AHS has given us all the info we need to keep each other healthy from the food we share, and we want you to know it all. These food handling guidelines will be required for anyone gifting food. Don’t worry, it’s sensible things like wash your hands and utensils, and don’t wave your bits near the food. Easy, right?

What you need to have:

A way to wash hands before touching everyone’s food. This can be a trailer sink or a water jug and a bucket to catch the grey water. There must be liquid soap (not just gel sanitizer) next to the sink/ jug, and paper towels. Everyone serving food must be able to access the temporary sink.

HERE is an example of a hand wash station for your food gifting event.

Bring enough water to keep the jug full for the duration of your food event. 

A non-porous surface to prep the food. This can be the packaging if it is going straight from package to serving. Or it can be a plastic table you set up. Or a metal cookie sheet. You get the idea. If you are doing food prep not just serving, ideally the non-porous surface is a counter or table, so you don’t have to juggle cookie sheets. If your event goes over four hours, wipe the surface with the surface sanitizer, or as needed.

A surface sanitizer for the non-porous surface and utensils. This can be a diluted bleach wash (½ teaspoon bleach to 1 litre of water) or Lysol/ Mr Clean that says disinfectant on the bottle. (Then rinse the surface with clean water as per directions on the Lysol/ Mr Clean bottle)

Everyone planning on handling the food must wash their hands before handling the food. Everyone needs a good wash every so often anyways, right?

Everyone handling food must have their genitals covered. Nobody wants a pube in their taco. Well, not their food taco. 

The people serving food can’t be sick, and should be wearing clean clothes. This one ought to be obvious, c’mon.  

Wear gloves if you like, still wash your hands first and toss the gloves once you take ‘em off. Much like a condom, these are one use only things!

The food must be stored safely: kept cold before use in a fridge or sealed package in a cooler in an ice bath.

The hot food being prepared that might carry ick (seafood, meats, eggs, dairy, cooked rice, cooked pasta, cooked veggies) needs to be over 60 degrees C from prep until served

Serving utensils must be washed and sanitized before use. The two sink method is best for this, with one wash sink and one surface sanitizing rinse sink. Alternatively you can put the diluted bleach surface sanitizer mix in a spray bottle and spritz the utensils clean over your grey water bucket a la Big Burn.

The food must be served, not grabbed. Yeah, your fellow participants may be having so much fun they forgot to wash before rolling up to your food event. Don’t let them stick their grubby paws into your food to be served. YOU have the serving utensil and YOU put it on the plate, without you or your utensil touching the plate. YOU are the food overseer!

Wanna know more?

Yeah you do! This is the info package the actual vendors at commercial festivals use, and the application process they have to go thru. Note: you do not have to apply to gift at Freezer Burn. Just read and be familiar with food safety.

HERE is the special events temporary food vendor establishment package. 

You can even take a free course! The Alberta Food Safety for Special Events would be the most applicable to this situation. 

Since we are doing a sort of community event/ potluck style food gifting, we just need to be aware of these reasonable guidelines. We do not have to apply, thanks to the Ponoka AHS rep working with us to keep everyone from spending the week after the festival pooping their soul out. And on that note, please don’t put the river water in your mouth. C’mon, this is agricultural Alberta. Those cows aren’t decorational. 

Are you sharing the gift of facepaint with people outside your family? 

HERE is an info package for you too!