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6 key things to know about cooling foods

Improper cooling of foods can cause foodborne illness. This infographic gives you 6 things that should be on your mind every time you perform the task.

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Key things to know about cooling foods

  • Proper cooling prevents illness
    It is important to follow the proper process for cooling hot foods. If cooled improperly, dangerous bacteria can grow and make people sick. These bacteria produce toxins that may not be destroyed by reheating
  • When cooling, time is very important
    2-step process - Cool cooked foods from 135°F to 70°F in 2 hours. Within 6 hours total, cool from 135°F to 41°F.
    1-step process - Cool foods made from room temperature ingredients to 41°F in 4 hours or less.
  • 3 food factors can affect cooling 
    Size - Break foods down into smaller portions
    Density - Use quick cooling methods for thick foods.
    Container - Use shallow containers made of metal.
  • Use one of 6 cooling methods
    1. Use shallow pans
    2. Put container in ice bath
    3. Stir with ice wand/paddles
    4. Add ice to cooked/condensed food
    5. Use a blast chiller
    6. Pre-chill ingredients used to make foods at room temperature
  • Take corrective action if necessary
    If cooling does not happen fast enough, it is important to take action to correct the situation. This may include employing other methods, reheating the food and restarting the process, or discarding the food. Safety First!

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