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Seafood platters can be served at a social gathering and enjoyed by many guests at once. Offering a few different types of seafood and a number of dips will help ensure that people can choose things they like. It is important to follow food safety guidelines when preparing a seafood platter so that raw and cooked foods do not cross-contaminate and so that food-borne illness is not spread.
Many people have food allergies, so arranging a seafood platter with respect to various food allergies is very important. Shrimp, crab, calimari, and lobster are all common allergens, and though there are many people who are allergic to all shellfish, there are others who can tolerate some shellfish and not others. Separating the different types of seafood on a platter can allow people who have specific allergies to enjoy the food along with people who do not have allergies.
Serve seafood platters when they will be eaten quickly. Seafood is prone to bacterial growth which makes it particularly dangerous to leave this type of platter at room temperature for more than a few hours. If a seafood platter is not entirely consumed within this time frame the remainder of it should be discarded. If possible, separate the ingredients onto multiple seafood platters so that the dish can be served throughout a party. Doing this will require the use of separate, clean dishes so that bacteria from the tray does not contaminate the seafood.
While some types of seafood may be served raw or lightly cooked on seafood platters, other types must be cooked all the way though. When arranging a seafood platter make sure that the different components are cooked safely and that people know if certain types of seafood are raw or uncooked. Shrimp, for example, is never safe to eat undercooked, whereas high quality tuna and salmon can be consumed raw.
Offering different dips on a seafood platter can help ensure that the people at a gathering each have something that they like. Dips should be served in separate bowls so that they do not mix and should each have their own spoon to discourage people from dipping their food directly into the bowls. If people use a spoon instead of dipping their food into bowls, this can help prevent bacteria from spreading.
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