Food Safety at Holiday Parties

After you’ve finished decorating the office, you’re ready for the event of the year: the holiday party. This year-end celebration brings the team together for a fun morale boost full of festive drinks, treats, and cuisine. There are a number of ways you can handle the food aspect of your holiday party each with their own set of pros and cons. We’ve listed below some the considerations for a few of your options, as well as the safety precautions that will need to be addressed.


Probably the quickest and easiest option, hiring a caterer takes away a lot of the stress of party preparation.

But how can you be sure you’re hiring a caterer that will use food handling best practices? Reading reviews and asking for referrals are a great way to make sure that your caterer has a history of providing their services safely before you ever meet them. You can also check to see if they are licensed at local and state levels, which helps to ensure that they are certified in food safety and if they have any past violations. If your caterer ever becomes unresponsive, doesn’t have a clear cancellation process, or neglects to provide tastings, just be aware that you are taking a shot in the dark as to what you can expect from them on the big day.

You may also want to walk through the venue with them to make sure they have everything that they need. An experienced chef and staff will know better than anyone what to do to pull off the perfect party menu.


To be a little more hands-on, you could always choose to pick up pre-prepared appetizers from the local grocery store. Check that your selections are sealed and fresh. Be sure to keep hot things hot and cold things cold as you transport, serve, and store food to decrease the risk of bacterial growth. Before you set out your spread, wash your hands. Wearing food handling gloves is another way to prevent the spread of germs. If you decide to forego paper products, wash all dishes, cups, and utensils with hot and soapy water to get them squeaky clean for the party.

On-Site Cooking

Even though your co-workers may feel like a second family to you, the way you prepare food should be held to a different standard than how you might do so at home. On top of everything that was mentioned for a pre-prepared party, if you’re cooking on-site, you’ll want to clean your cooking area. Using paper towels and green cleaning products help to keep your cooking and eating areas clean while using fewer toxic chemicals. Make sure that these areas are completely dry before you start to cook or put any food items on them.

In this scenario, food-handling gloves should be worn not just for serving the food, but throughout the entire meal-making process. This includes changing your gloves at least once between the preparation and serving phases. You should change your food-handling gloves as frequently as necessary to avoid cross-contamination.

Microwaves can be used to cook food, just be sure that it’s heated evenly by stirring and rotating it often. Make sure that all food reaches a safe internal temperature with a cooking thermometer before serving it. There is no “close enough” in food safety.

Off-Site Cooking

Entering into an unfamiliar space makes it all the more important to follow safe food handling procedures. Knowing how big of a space you have to work with allows you to be sure that the cooking area isn’t overcrowded and food is safe from cross-contamination. You’ll also need to know what equipment is provided on-site and what you’ll need to bring with you. Since you can’t be sure what sanitation state the site will be in, leave extra time for set-up including a scrub down of the cooking area. It’s better to do a little extra cleaning up front, instead of not cleaning and wishing you had.

Party Now, Party Later

In any of these situations, there might be some leftovers. Refrigerate any leftover food as soon as possible; the longer food sits out, the more likely it will grow bacteria. If perishable food like meat, eggs, or casseroles are left out at room temperature for longer than two hours, don’t save it, discard it. If you don’t send the leftovers home with your party-goers, make sure there’s enough room in the company fridge to allow air to circulate, keeping it cool and ready to reheat on Monday.

Party with US Standard Products

No matter where your party food is made, employee safety should always be a top priority. US Standard Products, a nation-wide provider of quality operational and safety products, has the food handling gloves, green cleaning products, and other food safety equipment you need to throw a safe and happy holiday party. Contact us today at 844-877-1700 to learn how we can help you prepare for the holidays and holiday parties in the safest way possible.

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How to Decorate Your Office for the Holidays Safely

From hanging lights outside, to decorating around the department, the holiday spirit is likely to take over your office this season. While many large businesses opt to hire a professional decorating company, smaller organizations often choose to decorate themselves. Along with a fun and easy team-building activity, decorating your office yourself also means that the final product will have a more personal touch. As you and your co-workers deck the cubicle walls, keep in mind the following five safety tips.

1. Refrain from Decorating Safety Equipment

It may seem harmless to spruce up those safety fixtures you never seem to use like emergency lights or exit signs, but it’s best to leave them untouched. Not only could your decorations violate OSHA regulations, they might stop the systems from functioning properly. All alarms, detectors, sprinklers, extinguishers, and signs should be easily visible and accessible. Plus, you never know when those dusty lights might spring into action and be needed.

2. Stay Steady on Ladders

With ladders in OSHA’s top 10 workplace hazards, there’s never a bad time to review and practice ladder safety. Make sure ladders are tall enough so that you don’t have to stand on the top step or your tiptoes to complete the job. It might take a little longer, but it’s important to move the ladder often so that you are not leaning or off-balance. Have someone secure the bottom of the ladder so that it’s steady. This way, everyone gets to enjoy the season without any holiday hospital bills.

3. Leave Exits and Pathways Clear

You might get carried away with holiday cheer as you are decorating, but you don’t want to trip under the mistletoe, especially in the event of an emergency. Make sure to leave doorways and main walkways clear of larger items like Christmas trees, but also smaller ones to avoid any blockages, trips, or other workplace accidents. These might include trinkets such as gifts or ornaments that passersby might bump into accidentally. Leaving room for people to come and go allows for the fun to flow freely as you celebrate with holiday activities.

4. Secure all Wires and Cords

You wouldn’t choose for anyone to get tangled up in your decorations even if they are caught up in the joy of the holidays. To keep everyone safe and decorations where you placed them, fasten loose cords and wires to appropriate surfaces. Ensure that cables lie flat on all surfaces so that no one accidentally pulls them away from where they should be. Wrapping up an extra long cord also helps to make clean up easier, not that we’re anywhere near ready to be done with the festivities!

5. Fireproof your Decor

Keep that fire extinguisher on the shelf this year by making sure that all electronic elements are away from flammable items like curtains, chairs, or coats. Check wires to ensure that they are not fraying or worn thin. Make sure to turn off electronic decorations overnight to prevent them from overheating and potentially melting nearby or encasing plastic. Also use battery-powered candles instead of open flames to ensure that nothing but ice will be melting this holiday season.

As you decorate your office this winter, US Standard Products, a nationwide provider of quality operational and safety products, has the gear you need to do so safely. Contact us today at 844-877-1700 to learn how we can help you prepare for the holidays in the safest way possible.

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Building a Better World Through Charity

December is the season of giving, and U.S. Standard Products is no stranger to philanthropy. For every sale that we make, a percentage of our profits goes toward helping our charitable partners reach their missions, all year long. Here’s a look at our charitable partners, and what they’re doing to build an even better world.

Wounded Warrior Project

The Wounded Warrior Project is an organization that provides support for wounded veterans who were and are affected by the military actions following the events of September 11, 2003. Our support for the WWP helps veterans across the country access programs aimed to address the mind, body and economic challenges that many face upon returning home from service.

National Kidney Foundation

As a proud supporter of the National Kidney Foundation serving Greater New York, U.S. Standard Products is helping to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases across the globe. Recently we sponsored a program entitled “A Primary Care Approach to CKD Management” to help spread awareness and education on the topic. We also sponsor the Medical Grand Rounds program at underserved hospitals throughout New York and New Jersey.

Business Professionals of America

Business Professionals of America is a career and technical student organization with 43,000 members across the country that provides preparation of a world-class workforce. Our support helps to facilitate scholarships, educational resources, professional development workshops, webinars and other opportunities for students (middle school through college) who are interested in pursuing careers in business management and related fields.

Sierra Club

A prominent environmental organization, the Sierra Club is dedicated to protecting the wilderness and promoting a clean energy economy. By supporting this organization and its mission in combination with the sale of our eco-friendly products, U.S. Standard Products is helping to make the world a cleaner, more sustainable environment for us to live in.

Greater Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce

As a member and supporter of the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, we help to empower businesses in the South Florida area to be the best they can be though programs, services and networking opportunities.

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