Violation ExplanationOfficial Report Wording, Item 03
Temperature control for potentially hazardous foods:
Foods maintained at <41o F or >140o F. Cooling from 140o F to 70o F in two hours and from 70o F to 41o F in four hours. Use shallow, uncovered pans in refrigerator or ice bath with frequent stirring. NO COOLING AT ROOM TEMPERATURE!!
1. Cooling procedures. (20 pts.)
2. Rapid reheat >165o F. (20 pts.)
3. Hot holding >140o F. (15 pts.)
4. Cold holding <41o F. (15 pts.)
5. Adequate cooking. (20 pts.)
6. Time as a control. (15 pts.)
7. Product thermometers used, accurate. (5 pts.)
PUBLIC HEALTH REASON
Most food poisonings are associated with foods held at temperatures between 41oF and 140oF for extended periods of time. Health Department inspections stress temperature control of potentially hazardous food.
1. Proper cooling means lowering the temperature of the food quickly enough to prevent bacterial growth. Taking too long to cool off cooked foods is a frequent cause of foodborne illness. During lengthy cooling, disease-causing bacteria may grow in potentially hazardous foods. Avoid letting food stay for long periods of time at growth-promoting temperatures for bacteria 70° F - 120° F. If the food isn't cooled from 140° F to 70° F in two hours or less, then from 70° F to 41° F in four hours or less, enough bacteria may grow to cause a foodborne illness.
Restaurants are required to cool food within time frames based on how fast bacteria grow if food becomes recontaminated. By meeting these cooling time expectations, disease-causing bacteria won't grow to dangerous levels even if sanitation is less than ideal.
2. If the food becomes hot enough during cooking, most disease-causing bacteria and viruses will be destroyed. One exception is a type of bacteria that can form heat-resistant spores (an example is Clostridium perfringens.) However, cooked food can become recontaminated after cooking with bacteria from hands, utensils, coughing, sneezing, etc
3. Bacterial growth and possible toxin production by some bacteria, can occur in potentially hazardous foods that remain at temperatures between 41oF and 140oF for extended periods of time. Bacterial growth is greatly reduced when food temperatures reach 120oF. It is almost completely inhibited at 140oF.
4. The rate of bacterial growth and possible toxin production by some bacteria, can be greatly reduced when foods are held at temperatures of less than 41oF. This cold holding temperature does not generally kill the bacteria that may be present in food, but will slow or inhibit their growth.
5. Thorough cooking of foods also provides a high degree of assurance that any harmful microorganisms that may be present in the food will be destroyed. Cooking temperature requirements are based in part on the biology of the pathogen most often associated with the food being cooked. Different species of microorganisms have different susceptibilities to heat. Cooking can be the most effective step in eliminating microorganisms if foods are cooked to: Poultry and Stuffed Meats—165oF; Ground Meats—155oF; Game Meats—155oF; Eggs and Fish—145oF; Pork—155oF and Rare Roast Beef 130oF.
6. Bacterial growth and possible toxin production by some bacteria, will occur in potentially hazardous foods that remain at temperatures between 41oF and 140oF for extended periods of time. If a food is held “off” temperature (between 41oF and 140oF) for only a short time, no significant bacterial growth or toxin production should occur. When time is used to control bacterial growth, potentially hazardous foods can be held off temperature for only four hours or less. After this time any food product that has not been served must be discarded. Operations that use time as a control must develop a plan that outlines food handling procedures, identifies when a food item is removed from temperature control and when it is to be disposed of. This plan must be approved by the Health Department.
7. Because food temperature control is so critical in assuring food safety all foods establishment must have and must use an accurate thermometer to check food temperatures. Food product thermometers are to be scaled 0—220oF. They must be accurate to +/-2oF. Food workers need to verify that foods are being properly cooled, that they are reheated to 165oF, that they are cooked to the required temperatures, that they are held hot above 140oF, etc. by using a thermometer.
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