When it comes to battling foodborne illness at your restaurant, your two biggest nemeses are time and temperature. The ideal temperature for producing bacteria is between 40 and 140 degree Fahrenheit. Never let foods stay in this temperature zone! Keep them above or below it during storage and cooking. Here are some easy to remember steps, courtesy of One Fat Frog Restaurant Equipment for ensuring you keep bacteria at bay…
• Check food temperatures at every point in the production process using properly calibrated, sanitized thermometers.
• Store perishable foods below 40 degrees or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Label and date all containers of perishable food and drinks. They make labels specifically for restaurants, so get yourself some.
• Practice the time-honored tradition of first in first out (FIFO). This is a rotation system that just so happens to be a handy anagram as well. The helps your staff know what’s on the shelf and how long it’s been there.
• Never leave food sitting around at room temperature to thaw! Leave it in a cooler or run it under running water (if your health department allows this!
• Reheat foods only once! And toss the remainders! Some bacteria is heat stable so the more often you reheat foods the more likely they are to be contaminated. If you find yourself tossing a lot of food, make smaller portions!
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