Food-borne illness, such as Salmonella and E. coli, affects roughly 48 million people in the U.S. each year, according to the CDC. Many of these cases occur due to improper cooling, which allows harmful bacteria to grow. While this raises concerns for the average person who cooks at home, it’s even more problematic for those who work in commercial kitchens preparing large amounts of food for hundreds of people each day.
Proper Cooling Procedures
Cooling foods at the right temperature and in the right types of storage containers helps prevent bacteria that cause food-borne illness from growing. Cooked foods should be stored at a temperature that is below 41゜Fahrenheit (5゜C) as soon as possible.
Simply placing cooked foods in refrigerators or freezers promptly is not enough, though. The storage containers they are placed in can also make a big difference in whether or not bacteria will grow. Large portions of solid and semisolid foods, as well as large cuts of meat, should not be cooled as is. When large amounts are stored in a refrigerator or freezer, it takes much longer for the entire portion, particularly the innermost part, to reach temperatures that are cool enough to stop bacterial growth.
Before placing semisolid and solid foods in a refrigerator, they should be cut or separated into single layers and stored in shallow food pans that are between 2 to 4 inches deep. Storing these foods in shallow containers helps ensure that the inner and outer surfaces are able to reach safe temperatures quickly.
Large cuts of meat must be cut into smaller sizes, then allowed to cool to room temperature instead of being placed in a refrigerator or freezer right away. When the smaller portions have reached room temperature, they should be covered securely with a lid before being refrigerated.
Cambro offers a wide selection of shallow food pans in various materials to help those who work in the food service industry reduce the risk of food-borne illness by ensuring proper cooling. Cambro’s Camwear® Pans and High Heat Food Pans are available in sizes ranging from 2 to 4 inches in depth with holding capacities up to 13.7 quarts to accommodate a variety of food storage needs. Camwear® Polycarbonate and High Heat Food Pans also offer the following features:
- Made from durable material to lower the risk of cracks or dents
- Have a non-stick interior for easier serving and cleanup
- Offer the widest range of food pan covers for improved food safety and product freshness.
With the help of Cambro pans and by following proper cooling procedures, those who work in the food service industry can keep their customers safe by significantly lowering the risk of food-borne illness.
For more food safety tips, visit www.cambro.com/StoreSafe.