It’s a harsh reality Monday morning but hay ho here we are.
AND it’s winter = cold.
So, to Food Safety and the chilling Danger Zone for perishable food.
This is actually a good time to work in the kitchen and by that, I mean heat is not your enemy. When you’re trying to keep your products cold or cool. In any food service big or small working or working from a home kitchen, the aim of the game is trying to keep your products cool and chilled as quick as possible.
This normally means in and out of the chiller or fridge a lot, in order to do that. But in the winter when you're freezing cold -2 as we are this morning you don’t need to do the in and out of the chiller so quickly. Now don’t get me wrong, your kitchen if your cooking will fairly quickly raise the temperature again. But at least you have a small reprieve.
The danger zone for food is when it sits around the 5C – 60C (sorry can't get the right symbol for centigrade to go in here the wee 'o' sign) range. This is when we want to take action and get high perishable food like meat and poultry into the chiller as quickly as possible. It makes sense to do that as you will get a longer shelf life out of them as well as not giving someone food poising, result really!
If you let your perishable food sit in the danger zone between and not chilled for any length of time then I’m afraid there are consequences and decisions you have to make.
Up to two hours at that danger zone you can:
1. Cook it and chill it for service later or serve it
2. Put in back in the chiller/fridge in raw state
Up to 3hrs in danger zone, the danger zone will change as it’s been on the bench for well up to 3hrs = 35C – 60C
1. Cook and serve immediately – no going back in the chiller my friend
Up to 4 hours in the danger zone by this point germs (pathogens) have set in and they are staying = 55C-60C
1. Chuck it!
BUT on a cold morning like today you can add hmmm maybe 10 mins on danger zone time, yeh I know not a lot!😊