A company barbecue, picnic or other fun event is a great way for your company to show appreciation for everyone and promote a fun time together. However, there are always safety concerns that a company must be aware of. Here are some ways you can keep you and your guests safe.
Use the Right Equipment
Grills can make some mouth-wateringly delicious food, but they can also be a source of danger. Open flames, heat, pressurized gasses and more can all be involved depending on the type of grill chosen for your event. To help ensure safety, make sure the grill is kept outdoors and away from buildings. Electric grills that need an extension cord can become a tripping hazard if not properly secured. Propane and gas grills should have hoses checked, and charcoal grills will need safe hot coal disposal. Only experienced operators should use the grill. Proper equipment includes long-handled tongs, metal spatulas, and some manner of heat and flame-resistant grill gloves and apron. A fire extinguisher should also be located nearby in the event of an emergency.
Practice Food Safety
Proper food safety is a must. The last thing your company needs is a large chunk of staff to experience illness and food poisoning. Use separate utensils for each food item. Plates and utensils for guests should never come into contact with raw meat. Anyone handling raw produce and meat should wash hands frequently in warm, soapy water. All meats must be cooked to appropriate temperatures. A digital thermometer can be a big help in guaranteeing correct temperatures, especially if different meats are being prepared. Cooked food that is not immediately consumed must be properly stored. Perishable foods need to stay below 40 degrees to keep them fresh and prevent bacteria growth that can lead to food poisoning. Do not let perishable foods sit outside in the heat and sun all day. Have staff assigned to specific roles to keep everything going and food safe: one group to prepare, one group to cook, one group to plate and serve and a final group to clean away leftovers.
Practice Sun Safety
Your equipment and food are not the only potential danger vectors. Barbecues are generally outdoor events in warmer weather, which means the sun and heat could be a factor. If guests will be outside for more than just a few minutes, appropriate sunscreen is a must. Ample hydration stations including bottled water or bottle refill stations are a must. Give your employees regular reminders to take in water to prevent heatstroke. A shelter is also encouraged. Tent rentals or smaller pop-up shelters can be used in the event of a lack of shade trees or buildings. This is also a great opportunity to hand out company themed or branded gift bags, which can provide party-goers with a company hat, shirt, sunscreen, reusable water bottle and perhaps a small cooling device.
Ultimately, the idea of a company cookout is to give employees a well-deserved fun outing. Such an event can establish greater team harmony and unity and give employees a favorable view of the company. As long as potential pitfalls are adequately addressed, your company barbecue is sure to be a huge hit with everyone.
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