Tip of the Week

Cooling is a risky business!

Research has proved that bacteria does not multiply significantly in high risk foods within 90 minutes of cooking.  However, after the initial 90 minutes of cooling time, the risk of bacteria growth and multiplication rises considerably.


The ideal temperature for bacteria growth is between 8°C and 63°C, with the highest levels of bacteria multiplication taking place at temperatures between 30°C – 45°C.

If the bacterial growth is too high, it will not all be killed when you reheat the food.  This was the case when The Railway Inn in Hornchurch left the turkey for Christmas lunch out to cool in the kitchen overnight.  The result was 60 people ill and one fatality.

To reduce the risk in your kitchen, follow these 4 rules

  1. Cool high risk hot food to the lowest temperature possible within a 90-minute period and refrigerate
  2. Decant out of the hot pan into smaller batches
  3. Use a Blast Chiller or an ice bath (cooling an empty gastro pan in the freezer before decanting food into it helps speed up the cooling process)
  4. Place under refrigeration or freeze immediately after the 90-minute cooling time.


Always record the cooling times and temperatures of ALL high-risk foods cooled.  This is a fail safe to ensure consistent safe cooling procedures.

Weekly Food Fact

Did you know that the first ever soup was made from hippopotamus and dates back to 6000 BC.

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