The worst thing that can happen to hot food at a buffet is for it to turn cold and enter what is known as the “Danger Zone”. Food that enters the Danger Zone (between 40 – 140 degrees F) is at a much higher risk for bacteria. In general, hot food should not be left out longer then an hour without a secondary heat source.
It is very hard for your prepared food to maintain an internal temp of 140+ degrees F without an additional heating source. The lack of a secondary heat source can often cause problems in buffets because the food tends to sit out for a longer period of time, therefore making it at higher risk for bacteria.
In order to prevent your buffet food from entering the Danger Zone, you can use Countertop Warmers. The reliable adjustable thermostat on the 12” x 20” Nemco Countertop Warmer helps ensure that the available food is always within food safety temperature guidelines. These countertop warmers are extremely portable and versatile, making it easy to add side dishes and entrees to existing buffet lines or even create additional buffet lines last minute. The unique heating element design provides even heat distribution to prevent “hot spots” and can hold any temperatures ranging from 120-212 degrees F.