Tip of the Week

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°) it is proven that, after 90 minutes, any bacteria present in the food will start to multiply at an alarming rate.  When the 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.

A good example of this was the Hornchurch food poisoning incident a few years ago when 60 people were made ill and one person died.  This was due to food poisoning from turkey that had been left out all night to cool at room temperature.  Ensuring a 90 minute cooling time then refrigerating is good safe practice.

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 the 90 minutes – it is not a refrigerator.

Here are some cooling tips if you don’t have a Blast Chiller –

  • Stir sauces frequently during cooling to disperse hot spots
  • Decant into smaller portions
  • Place on top of a gastro pan full of ice
  • Use reusable plastic ice packs to place under and on top of your dish (handy as they do not create mess and once used, pop them back in the freezer for next time)
  • Place a gastro dish in the fridge or freezer to cool before using it to decant food into to speed up the cooling process

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

January is a good month for eating Oysters.  Did you know that raw oysters are still alive when you eat them.  Lucky for them they don’t have a central nervous system so they can’t feel pain ….

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