Temperature control in the kitchen forms part of the food safety pillars which is critical in ensuring the prevention of bacterial growth and overall quality of foods.
Temperature control ensures that foods that are meant to be served hot are kept at the required temperature and foods meant to be served cold are not left out at dangerous temperatures.
The Danger Zone is a temperature range in which bacteria grow and multiple at its fastest. This ranges from 20 – 45 °C (68 – 113 °F). Bacteria can, however, grow and survive between 5 – 65 °C (41 – 149 °F). But the most common food-related bacteria grow at their best in the danger zone.
This is because our internal body temperature is at 37 °C (98 °F) and food poisoning bacteria are related to us by the food we eat. 37 °C (98 ° F) is, therefore, the optimum performance zone for these bacteria. This is true for bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella.
Therefore keeping foods outside this range prevents rapid growth of bacteria.
All hot foods must be kept above 65.0 °C (149 °F) at all times. In order to achieve this, hot foods must be kept in a pre-heated hot display that is above this temperature. If you place hot foods in a cool display it will take too long to get back up to the required temperature allowing bacteria to survive. The same is true for placing cooled foods into a hot display. Remember we need high and quick temperatures to kill bacteria.
Keeping records for the hot display of foods is an important factor in temperature control. Remember that if it is not being monitored then it’s not being managed. Temperatures should be recorded at least 1 hour into service in order to ensure that everything is in order.
When it comes to the reheating of food, they should be heated to a temperature of 70 °C (158 °F) for at least 10 minutes in order to ensure all bacteria has been killed. Warmers and Bain maries cannot be used to reheat foods because they do not rapidly increase the temperature, allowing time for bacteria to grow and survive.
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Source: Hygiene Food Safety