Tip of the Week

Cooking food via the sous vide method (water bath) is a perfectly safe method of cooking if you have a safe procedure in place.

The biggest hazard with sous vide cooking is the potential for multiplication of bacteria and production of toxins in vacuum pouch.  Bacteria such as Clostridium Perfringens, Clostridium Botulinum and Bacillus Cereus thrive in the absence of oxygen so care must be taken in handling, packaging, cooking, cooling, etc.

Your Environmental health Inspector will expect you to have specific written procedures in place if you carry out sous vide cooking.

Here are some safe tips:–

  • Store foods to be vacuum packed at low temperatures (ideally less than 4°C)
  • Handle foods carefully to avoid cross contamination
  • Cook at the right time/temperature – a rule of thumb for safe cooking times and temperatures is 60°C for 45 minutes or variations on this time/temperature.  It is a safe balance of temperature and time.  You need to specify the cooking time and temperatures for all your sous vide dishes to ensure safety and consistency.
  • Searing – searing the outside surfaces of beef and lamb before vacuum packing will kill any bacteria present.
  • Separate vacuum machine must be used for raw and ready to eat foods


You need to have written procedures/specifications for all your sous vide dishes.  Specify the recipe, method, cooking times and temperatures.  Record the cooking times and temperatures of ALL high risk foods cooked sous vide.

Weekly Food Fact

Did you know that every ear of sweetcorn has an even number of rows – usually 16!

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