Food Safety 101: Food has been safely cooked when the internal temperature is high enough to kill any organisms that could make you sick. Employees often incorrectly assume food is cooked to the proper temperature because it appears that way. Don’t allow assumptions to threaten your customers’ safety. These four tips will keep you from committing time-temperature abuse:
Use a thermometer
The kitchen is not a place you want to live dangerously. Keeping food out of the Danger Zone seems simple, but temperatures can quickly slip into a tailspin. How do you prevent this? Treat the thermometer like it’s the Goose to your Maverick. Check the temperature of your dry and cold storage every hour and record the number.
Keep your thermometer cleaned between readings and covered when not in use to prevent contamination between food items.
Train employees regularly
Sometimes the best thing you can do is to go back to the basics. Temperature rules vary depending on if the food is hot, cold and what has happened to it before it hits the dinner plate. It’s natural that some of the many food safety rules would start to become dull in an employee’s memory. Employees should know what temperatures are in the Danger Zone and what to do if food crosses that threshold. Continuous training should decrease the chance for food to be mishandled.
Remember: Time-temperature abuse is most common in situations where food has been held or stored at the incorrect temperature, cooked and reheated improperly or cooled incorrectly.
Store food safely during transport
When transporting food for events, it is imperative that food stays out of the Danger Zone. Simply packing up your food and putting it in the trunk is not enough. Cambro’s insulated food transporters keep your food fresh and at the correct temperature. Whether you need your food to stay hot or cold, there are several options and accessories in case you need a little extra assurance. Carriers keep food at safe temperatures for up to four hours.
Thaw foods correctly
Don’t forget that how you thaw food is just as important as how you cook it. According to the ServSafe training program, there are four safe ways to thaw food to keep bacteria from wreaking havoc in your kitchen:
- in a refrigerator at 41°F or lower
- submerged in running water that is no more than 70°F
- in a microwave, if it will be cooked immediately afterward
- during the cooking process
When defrosting meat in the refrigerator, use Cambro’s Colander Pans to allow water to drain into the pan below and away from your food. Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter because bacteria can multiply more rapidly at room temperature, posing a serious food safety risk if it reaches the Danger Zone. These four approved ways allow you to control the thawing temperature, ensuring there is little to no chance of food crossing into the Danger Zone.
Connect with your Cambro rep for more information on the products mentioned in this article.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.
Categories: Food Safety