A social gathering, wedding reception, corporate event or children's party can be made more interesting by using a chocolate fountain. It is a food catering feature that is increasingly becoming popular in all types of parties. Just like sculpted ice and carved fruits, chocolate fountains are both decorative and functional in purpose. Unlike other types of "edible" decorations, chocolate fountains are dynamic because of the continually flowing chocolate fluid. The device can be placed on the banquet or buffet table, creating some sort of aesthetic balance. These fountains can serve as converging points where guests can gather and socialize.
However, these fountains are potential media of spreading dangerous bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. The chocolate fondue itself could become an ideal breeding ground for microorganism if not properly supervised. Someone might need to be assigned to guard the fountain and remind people about basic hygiene. This is especially needed for children's parties, wherein children can become unruly and could topple or ruin the fountain setup.
Using fingers or hands to scope some chocolate from the fountain is something that should be totally avoided. The hands are home to many species of microorganisms, which could easily be transferred to the chocolate. It would also create a mess on the table and could ruin clothing. The hot chocolate liquid and the hot pot might also cause minor scalding or eye injuries. The setup could accidentally be tipped over, spilling the content. Little children are particularly at risk. Hence, there is necessity for supervision.
Double-dipping should also be avoided for the same reason that using fingers or hands should be avoided in scoping chocolate. A partially eaten food is laced with saliva and mouth bacteria. Double-dipping it will transfer some of the bacteria into the chocolate.
Serving food outdoor such as in the case of garden wedding reception could be risky in terms of hygiene. There are several possible contaminants that can be mixed into the food. Since a chocolate fountain does not have a cover, it is susceptible to particulate contaminations. These include soil dust, car smoke, pet furs, and pollen grains. Although some particulates in the air are not necessarily dangerous or could cause diseases, some may result to allergies.
Certain level of precaution should be taken when using chocolate fountains outdoors. For instance, the banquet or buffet table should be protected by a food catering tent. Insects such as houseflies and ants are other potential problems that can be attracted by the chocolate fountain. It would be helpful to place some insect zappers and organic repellants in the perimeters. Lighting an aromatic candle may help to repeal some insects.
Cleaning a chocolate fountain after a party or special event is the task of the food caterer. However, if the device is privately owned, it is the obligation of the party host or homeowner to clean the device. Cleaning it is relatively easy but it must be made sure that no residue and moisture will be left. All the components must be dried to prevent rusting. The growth of mold spores and possible bacterial contamination will also be prevented in the process.
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