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Extension > Food > Food Safety > Courses and Certification > Cooking safely for a crowd — online

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Cooking safely for a crowd — online

people eating corn at a festival

You may be a good cook, but cooking for a crowd is different. Where do you store all that food? How do you keep the cold foods cold? When is the food completely cooked? How long can you leave the serving tray on the buffet table?

There is a lot to learn about how to plan, prepare, and serve food in quantities as well as how to make sure the food is safe. It is scary to think about people getting sick from your meal, but it can and does happen. Each year, millions of people suffer from foodborne illness. While foodborne illness can be as mild as a stomach ache, it can also be fatal.

Watch a 15-minute presentation and print a leader's guide and handouts, for yourself or for a group you will train.

Topics covered include:

  • Planning the quantity food event
  • Foodborne illness: how does bacteria grow?
  • Personal hygiene for safe food: handwashing
  • Cross contamination
  • Time and temperatures
  • Storing food supplies
  • Preparing quantity food
  • Keeping food safe when holding and serving
  • Handling the leftovers


Watch video online or download here (31.7 MB WMV).

Transcript (127 K PDF)

Leader's guide and handouts


This short presentation is designed for volunteers who help prepare, serve or handle food at any large group event. This may be the funeral lunches you serve, the pancake breakfasts, the parish dinners, community meals, county fair or festival booths, banquets, fund raisers or maybe your own child's graduation party or a family reunion. Watch it individually or use the leader's guide and hand outs to teach a group.


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