Storage & Food Handling
. Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent food-borne illness .
Diagram1. Food Safety
Diagram2. Food Storage and Temperature
Diagram4. Food Storage
Diagram3. Temperature and Bacteria
Cooling Foods Safely
One of the leading causes of food-borne illness is improperly cooled food. Cooked foods that are to be stored need to be cooled to below 41°F/5°C as quickly as possible. This should be completed within four hours, unless you use the two-stage cooling method. In the first stage of this method, foods must be cooled to 70°F/21°C within two hours. In the second stage, foods must reach 41°F/5°C or below within an additional four hours, for a total cooling time of six hours. The proper way to cool hot liquids is to place them in a metal container in an ice water bath that reaches the same level as the liquid inside the container. Stir the liquid in the container frequently so that the warmer liquid at the center mixes with the cooler liquid at the outside edges of the container, bringing the overall temperature down more rapidly. Semisolid and solid foods should be refrigerated in single layers in shallow containers to allow greater surface exposure to the cold air. For the same reason, large cuts of meat or other foods should be cut into smaller portions, cooled to room temperature, and wrapped before refrigerating. Reheating Foods Safely
When foods are prepared ahead and then reheated, they should move through the danger zone as rapidly as possible and be reheated to at least 165°F/74°C for a minimum of fifteen seconds. As long as all proper cooling and reheating procedures are followed each time, foods may be cooled and reheated more than once. Food should be brought to the proper temperature over direct heat (burner, flattop, grill, or conventional oven) or in a microwave oven. A steam table will...
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