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Time and Temperature Control for Safety

You know the fundamentals of proper food preparation. You pride yourself on keeping your hands and body clean, and maintaining clean food contact surfaces to prevent contamination. You practice food separation protocols to avoid cross-contamination of different kinds of foods, such as raw meats, eggs, seafood, and poultry. You even go the extra mile, examining your foods for any foreign materials, such as strands of hair or bits of dirt or gravel that might have slipped past the washing process. But after all the food preparation is complete, there is still one important factor that must be observed to your food safe, and that comes after the meal is cooked. It’s call TCS, or Time and Temperature Control for Safety.

Failing to observe proper TCS is a leading cause of foodborne illnesses, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bacteria can grow rapidly when TCS foods are held between 40 °F and 140 °F, also known as the temperature danger zone, and can double in number in as little as 20 minutes. To prevent dangerous levels of bacteria, observe this simple maxim: Keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold.

The USDA recommends never leaving food out of refrigeration for more than two hours, and cut that time in half if the temperature is above 90 °F. Hot foods should be kept at above 140 °F, and cold foods at or below 40 °F. When reheating always reheat thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 °F or until hot and steaming. For safety’s sake, remember the old adage: When in doubt, throw it out!

Mike Parker

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Food Safety

If you are looking for an online food handler course, then you have found it. FoodHandlerClasses.com is an ANSI accredited course and offers food handler training with exam to certify food workers in the service industry.

If you are looking for an online food manager course, then you have found it. FoodManagerClasses.com offers online food manager training with exam to certify food managers in the food service industry.