With holiday season in full swing, it’s likely you’ll receive invites to attend the yearly festivities. As a guest, your responsibilities are to eat, drink, and make merry at these events, but everyone, host and guest alike, have a duty to ensure the safety of all individuals at the party. The risks of private parties are often alcohol consumption, but food safety is also a common factor that creates liability for merry-makers. These rules apply not just during the bustle of the holidays, but year round, from birthday parties to the Super Bowl.
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Alcohol Safety During Personal Events
A host’s responsibility regarding alcohol is simply to provide in moderation. Because alcohol is a factor in over half of all traffic accidents, hosts need to be extra careful to ensure guests do not get overserved. However, should an incident occur after the party, both guest and host are responsible. Accidents can be prevented when hosts hire bartenders, as these industry professionals are trained to know when someone is being overserved. When a host makes an effort to encourage designated drivers, help guests book Ubers in advance, provide enough water and food, and to stop serving those they know are jolly, they are unlikely to be held accountable for an overserved guest leaving the party and choosing to drive when they shouldn’t. This is especially essential to consider with stricter relevance as the weather gets worse, not merely due to liability, but simply for the personal safety of your loved ones and others on the road.
Food Safety During Private Events
Food poisoning pops up in headlines quite often, but what we see happening in public restaurants can also happen at private parties. In fact, one in six Americans gets food poisoning each year. While we usually trust friends and family to prepare food, the fact of the matter remains that because you are in their home and not a professional restaurant, all liability for food safety falls on the host. Should you believe you’ve been served undercooked food that made you sick, it can be tricky to prove this. Due to the delay in reaction to food poisoning, tracking down whatever you ate that affected you can be somewhat difficult.
There are several reasons food poisoning can occur along with food not being heated to the right temperature before serving. First, any perishable foods, whether meat, cheese, mayo, cream cheese, or beyond, that sit out uncovered for more than two hours, should be thrown away, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Cold foods should be kept at 40 degrees Farenheit. In addition, remember to rinse all fruits and vegetables, and cook foods like turkey to the right internal temps.