Tag: meetings

Food Safety Checklist for Meeting Planners

Food Safety is a Necessity for Meeting Professionals In the last few months there seems to be a plethora of headlines announcing food safety issues related to crackers, meat, cheese, cucumbers, lettuce and more. Who would have thought that headlines like these would be of concern for a meeting professional or even a corporate event and that we’d need to create a food safety checklist? “Pepperidge Farm Issues Goldfish Recall” “The Shady Business of Food Fraud” “Ritz cracker Products Recalled Because of Salmonella in Whey” “Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce” Safety and security of…

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Feeding employees

Lessons for Human Resources Professionals: The Care and Feeding of Employees – Part One

As my clients, colleagues and followers know, my main focus as a meeting and event planner is ensuring the food is safe, healthy, delicious and inclusive. But for employees of a company, the food and beverage they are fed at conferences, special events and retreats is just a fraction of what they will consume while on the job. And it is the role of human resources professionals to ensure that all employees can eat safely. That’s why I’m devoting a series of blog posts to educating HR departments about what they can—and must—do when feeding employees. I say “must” because…

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Worldwide Food Service Safety Month chef testing Temperature of the meat

Worldwide Food Service Safety Month Recognizes Practices as Critical as Any Other Customer Service Standard

Preventing Harm is Basis of Worldwide Food Service Safety Month  Every year since 1994, December marks Worldwide Food Service Safety Month. The annual observation was established to remind everyone, from the professional food service industry, to cooks at home around the world, that food safety is of supreme importance. Buying, storing, preparing, and serving food are the typical topics covered, but what does food safety really mean when it comes to serving custom eaters at our events? Hint: It’s more than remembering to wash our hands and change aprons. The Basics Let’s begin with the basics we expect to hear about:…

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MeetingsNet Changemaker

Tracy Stuckrath Named A 2016 Meetings Industry Changemaker

I was recently honored and humbled to be named a 2016 Top Changemaker by Meetings Net Magazine. Wow! In the June 2016 issue, I’m named a changemaker for promoting awareness of food allergies and other dietary restrictions among meeting and event professionals. There are 20 other professionals named Top Changemakers for 2016 and I applaud their accomplishments, drive and passion for the meetings and event industry. While I know a few of the other honorees, the others I look forward to meeting. I’m proud of all the accomplishments of my peers and the advancements made across the meetings & events industry. May was…

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What Event Planners Can Learn from Ancient Rome?

The culinary world seems to discover a new dining trend every five minutes, but when it comes down to it, banquets haven’t changed all that much. There might be some inspiration and ideas event planners can learn from ancient Rome. I recently read this very entertaining and informative piece about history’s ten greatest banquets, and I was struck by what they had in common, all the way back to the days of Nero. They were once-in-a-lifetime events full of entertainment and surprise. They were opportunities for people to show off their wealth. But most importantly, whether it was dormice sprinkled with…

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How to Diversify the Plate While Respecting the Palate

Like most event planners, I read a lot of restaurant menus. I like to keep in touch with trends and ways to diversify the plate while respecting the palate. One thing that continues to surprise me is just how similar they are. At both down-home joints and white-tablecloth establishments, Americans seem to be interested in a narrow choice of meats. We will eat any part of the chicken, but most restaurants focus on the breast. When it comes to beef, we eat about half the cow, but only about 10 percent (e.g., strip loin, tenderloin, sirloin, and rib eye) ends…

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Are you Alienating 38% of Your Guests?

As many as 38% of people worldwide, self-identify as having a food allergy or intolerance. Whether running a catered corporate meeting, a dining experience out on-the-town for visiting colleagues, or a large conference at a hotel, a lack of trust in the food reflects poorly on everyone and can end up alienating guests. From the event host, to the servers, to the dining venue, lack of trust bleeds into the entire event experience. Food safety is important because it saves lives, but consumer confidence is a critically important goal in it’s own right. From a public health perspective, consumers need…

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Going Alcohol-Free for Your Next Big Event

We think of alcohol as vital for evening events, and in most cases, it probably is. It lubricates conversation and helps many people relax. But I wanted to share this recent New York Times article that inspired me to shake things up and consider going alcohol-free at my next event. “Shine” is a networking and dating event founded in Venice Beach, CA, and that recently expanded to New York City, which is notable in that no alcohol is served. Participants drink tea, juice and mocktails and eat delicious, healthy, mostly vegan meals. It results in sparkling conversation that isn’t dulled…

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Eating Communally

The Power of Eating Communally

Can Eating Communally Positively Impact Events? When we think about food at conferences, most of the talk is about logistics: How do I serve 500 people while the keynote speaker is talking? How many drink tickets can we afford to give away for free before charging? What meat will most of our attendees eat? Don’t get me wrong, this type of problem-solving is vital. If you can’t feed your attendees, you’ll have riots in the ballroom. But here’s the thing: We see meals as part of the structure, not the content of the meeting, in other words, what happens when…

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