Leftover Food Safety Operational Plan

As of January 1, 2019, upon opening our doors for event booking on Prince Edward Island, Canada, Heart of the Island Intimate Events has set in place the following Food Safety Operational Plan with specific Health & Safety guidelines to adhere to. This document is posted on our website for the public to see. It may also be shown to clients as needed or upon request, but it is not a requirement to fulfill the catering duties of an event.

  • When cooking for an event, we always cook the amount of food that was requested to be made by the client, when the final headcount was given, regardless of which guests may or may not show up on the day of the event. This is because, we need to place our food orders at that time so they arrive in time for the event. We order the appropriate amount of food for the number of guests in that final headcount, which is the final number that we are contracted to cook for. Additionally, some clients will find out someone can no longer make it and so they fill the spot with a last minute invitation to a new guest. We are not typically aware of changes like this until the day of the event and sometimes not at all. Therefore, it is our practice to make the same amount of food requested that we are contracted for and often a couple servings extra even, just in case, because sometimes there is a mishap that happens, like something falls on the floor. As a caterer, it is never acceptable to run out of food for an event. It is always better to plan to have more and not need it and it go to waste than to run out and guests not be properly taken care of. We do not refund for any food waste or for guests, who were unable to attend the event, as this is not the fault of Heart of the Island Intimate Events.

  • Any and all opened or cooked food that happens to be leftover after an event is to be thrown away before we clean up and leave the event space. This is due to the fact that it is a safety liability for caterers and against health code regulations. These laws are in place to protect the Client as well as the Caterer.

  • When catering a banquet, the food is sitting out the kitchen in unregulated room temperatures for a few hours. The food will have dropped in temperature into the danger zone, which is between 40-140 degrees F. Then it would be transferred to a unregulated temperature vehicle until unloaded. If a client were to take it home at the end of the event and not bring it in the house and refrigerate or freeze it immediately or leave it in the car, thinking it would be ok over night on a cool evening, and then they would take it inside in the morning. If they then tried to eat the food and got sick from it, that would fall on the caterer. Therefore, as a practice, we and almost all other caterers, do not allow clients to take home any opened or cooked leftover food from an event. Instead the food will be thrown away. 

  • Food that has been sitting out for a couple of hours (in the Danger Zone) should be thrown away, not given away. Rule of 4 - no more than 4 hours between 40 and 140 degrees F. If the hot food has been continuously kept above 140 degrees F and the cold food has been continuously kept below 40 degrees F, then it's safe to give it away, but as soon as it drops below 140 or goes above 40, the timer starts, and it needs to be discarded within 4 hours, ideally 2 hours. 

  • However, if there are any leftover ingredients that were purchased to make the food or other non-parishable items, the client is more than welcome to take those items home with them or arrange to have someone take them home at the end of the event. We, Heart of the Island Intimate Events, just needs to be informed of the plan ahead of time, and it must be carried out before we leave the premises.

  • No food items are to be leftover in the kitchen, when we, the catering team, leaves the event. Therefore, if anyone is taking anything home, they must remove the items from the kitchen and load them into the proper vehicles, before we leave the premises. Otherwise, it will be assumed that the client did not want to take any leftovers, and the items will be considered donated to Heart of the Island Intimate Events.

  • If there are any leftovers from the meal, before the end of the night, our catering team is welcome to make a plate for themselves to eat, as long as the food is still deemed safe to eat by temperature and timewise. They have been working extremely hard for the Us and the Client for hours, and it would be cruel not to feed them.