04 Dec 2019 From Farm to Fork: Cooking and Cooling Foods
The safety of the food customers purchase in stores or eat in restaurants is absolutely vital; which means all growers, suppliers, and food outlets need to be conscious about food safety and required legislation. Temperature control can be a tricky aspect of cooking any food if you aren’t familiar with how it should be done. Cooking foods and cooling foods is easy once you know how – but until then, food safety could become compromised if you do things wrong.
Compliance when Cooking and Cooling Foods
All UK food businesses need to be registered with applicable local authorities which will entail regular inspections of the premises and potential food hygiene ratings. In addition, most food businesses will require HACCP risk analysis and hazard identification solutions (https://www.magna-fhs.com/what-does-haccp-mean-in-catering/) in place in order to demonstrate compliance with food safety legislation and ensure foods can be traced back to sources, such as farmers and growers. Read on to discover some tips that you should keep in mind when cooking and cooling down your food in line with The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, the Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006, and the Food Hygiene Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006.
When cooking foods, you should aim to follow instructions on the packaging provided. If there is no packaging, always ensure that the oven is preheated before use, and that water is boiling hot when adding rice, pasta or potato to it. This will ensure that heat can get through to the middle as quickly as possible. Here are some general rules of thumb when it comes to cooking foods:
– When storing hot foods, they should be stored above 63-degree Celsius; not doing so will allow bacteria to grow
– Aim to dry vegetables, meats, and legumes before you cook them; this will stop moisture changing the cooking time
– Research what the ideal internal heat of meat should be in order to ensure that the meat isn’t raw and thus carrying risks of bacteria. If needs be, invest in a meat thermometer.
Following the cooking of your food, if you plan to freeze it then you should let it cool as soon as possible. This is in order to minimise the length of time that bacteria will have to grow on the food’s surface. The optimal situation is when food cools to less than 8 degrees celsius in 90 minutes or less. When cooling foods, there are also many other tips that you can follow:
– Cover your food in order to prevent contamination
– Move your food to a part of the kitchen that is away from any sources of heat
– Divide your food into smaller amounts to distribute the heat finer
– Place your food in a shallow dish, for the same reason as above
– For starchy foods like rice and pasta, running cold water can cool it down faster and remove excess starch
– Blow cold air across the surface of the food using a fan
– Place hot foods into a container and keep the container in an ice-water bath
Full Compliance and Traceability on the go
Whether it’s related to the regular recording of chiller and freezer temperatures at your food business or the measures taken to reduce risks of cross-contamination of cooked and raw foods, all business owners need to stay up to speed with their legal requirements and learn the most cost-efficient ways of compliance. With the Dued App from Magna FHS, it’s much easier to record due diligence and provide full traceability when cooking and cooling food. Find out more by contacting us here