Cooling Foods

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Refrigerate Promptly: Keep perishables in the refrigerator! At room temperature, pathogenic bacteria in food can double in number every 30 to 40 minutes. The more bacteria there are, the greater the chance you could become sick.

Here are some suggestions to ensure proper cooling of foods:

•    If you are cooling a larger roast, it is a good idea to cut into smaller pieces first.

•    You can cool soft foods by pouring into a shallow metal pan. Use a sheet pan for very thick food like re-fried beans.

•    When cooling larger foods, use an ice bath in the sink to assist in cooling the larger amounts quickly before refrigerating.

•    Once food cools to 40°F you can move to a larger container and cover it. Don’t pack the refrigerator too full, Cold air must circulate to keep food safe.

•    Food must cool from 140°F to 70°F within two hours, and then from 70°F to 41°F within four hours.

•    If you desire to refrigerate the food that has already been prepared, it is important for food to cool quickly in order to transfer the food to an appropriate labeled container and be placed in the refrigerator. Food should not sit around at elevated temperatures.

•    Food that are really hot or large need to be cooled quickly. A lot of people think it will harm their refrigerator to put hot food inside, but it’s not true. Hot food won’t harm your refrigerator. More important, prompt refrigeration of foods will keep your food and you safer

•   Marinade foods in the refrigerator. Why is it unsafe to marinate foods at room temperature? Doesn’t the acid in the marinade kill any bacteria that might be present? Bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature, so for food safety purposes, food should always be refrigerated while marinating. (Refrigeration slows bacterial growth.) Marinade that has been used on raw meat, poultry, and seafood contains raw juices. These juices may contain bacteria that, if eaten, could make you sick. The acid in marinade doesn’t kill bacteria, it merely slows or stops bacterial growth. Don’t use sauce that was used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood on cooked foods, unless it is boiled before applying. Never taste marinade or sauce that was used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood

•   At family outings or barbecues, use a cooler to keep perishable foods cold. Always use ice or cold packs and fill your cooler with food. A full cooler will maintain its cold temperatures longer than one that is partially filled