Tip of the Week

How do you cool food safely if you don’t have a blast chiller?

The food safety regulations require you to cool food to as low a temperature as possible within 90 minutes to enable you to then refrigerate it. There is a very good reason for this.

If high risk foods are left in the “Danger Zone “(between 8°C – 63°C) it is proven that, after 90 minutes, any bacteria present in the food can start to multiply at an alarming rate.  When bacteria is produced in such high volumes, it may not be possible to kill it when you reheat, which would cause food poisoning when the food is eaten.

If you have a blast chiller, always use it to cool food quickly and safely.  A blast chiller is a fantastic piece of equipment and I recommend you invest in one if you regularly cool high risk foods.  Top Tip – Never leave food in a blast chiller overnight or for longer than 90 minutes – it is not a refrigerator.

However, here are some cooling tips if you don’t have a Blast Chiller:–

  • Cooling foods in an ice bath is very effective but also very messy, so we recommend you purchase some plastic reusable ice packs and keep them in your freezer
  • To cool foods quickly, decant into a cold dish and place on top of some of the reusable ice packs, cover the food lightly in cling film and place another couple of ice packs on top of the food. Your food will cool rapidly so it can be placed in the fridge well under the 90 minute rule.
  • Then simply wash and sanitise your ice packs and pop them back in the freezer for next time.

Alert

Always record the start time of the cooling process and temperature of the food, and the finish time of cooling and final temperature as part of your due diligence procedures.

Weekly Food Fact

 

Did you know that, when you eat a chilli and it feels like it is burning your mouth, it is not really being burned.  Chillies contain a chemical called capsaicin that just tricks your mouth into feeling the burning sensation – the pain is all in your head.

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