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Cooling and Reheating Food

Veteran Member
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Joined: Dec 11, 2005


Posted to Thread #12338 at 5:16 pm on Oct 21, 2008

When you don't serve cooked food immediately, you must get it out of the temperature danger zone as quickly as possible. That means cooling it quickly. You also need to reheat it correctly whether you are going to hold it or immediately serve it.


As you know, pathogens grow well in the temperature danger zone. But they grow much faster at temperatures between 125F and 70F (52C and 21C). Food must pass through this temperature range quickly to reduce this growth.

Cool TCS food from 135F (57C) to 41F (5C) or lower within six hours.

First, cool food from 135F to 70F (57C to 21C) within two hours.

Then cool it to 41F (5C) or lower in the next four hours.

If food has not reached 70F (21C) within two hours, it must be thrown out or reheated and then cooled again.

If you can cool the food from 135F to 70F (57C to 21C) in less than two hours, you can use the remaining time to cool it to 41F (5C) or lower. However, the total cooling time cannot be longer than six hours. For example, if you cool food from 135F to 70F (57C to 21C) in one hour, you have the remaining five hours to get the food to 41F (5C) or lower. Check your local regulatory requirements.

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