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Old 04-10-2008, 07:51 PM   #1
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Fraternal lodge safety situation and question(s).

Please excuse me if this is disjointed.

Left over spaghetti sauce.

Situation:

I'm not sure how this sauce was made initially. I'll assume cans of sauce were emptied into roasters and pre cooked meat balls and sausage added and the sauce brought to a temperature of 165 or greater. This is not a safe assumption. I do not know how this sauce was cooled, eventually it made its way into plastic sherbet containers and was frozen.

Real story starts here.

I enter the kitchen and the 'cook' is putting the frozen masses of sauce into the roasters to thaw them. Once thawed the cook brought the sauce to a simmer. Then the roaster pans were removed and the pans were placed into a ~ 35 degree walk in cooler. The next day the pans were once again placed in the roasters and reheated and served.

Pretty bad?

The left over sauce was put into sherbert containers and frozen.

These frozen containers of sauce were once again emptied into roasters, thawed and brought to a simmer. After simmering for several hours the roasters were unplugged and placed in a cool back room (this room probably didn't get below 40 degrees). The pans were not removed from the roaster. The next day the roasters were brought into the kitchen and once again the sauce was brought to a simmer. And served.

After the serving the left over sauce was again placed in sherburt containers with the intent of being frozen for the next time sauce was needed. The cook put it in the walk in cooler. I put it in the dumpster.

This happened at a fraternal organizations lodge. This organizations members range in age from toddlers to the elderly. Fact, this lodge is made up of members from the major groups that need safe food.

The "cook"? She is a retired nurse who insists the toxins cook out and the bugs are killed. She cannot see the big deal (pretty much her words).

I'm in a food safety class (ServeSafe), these people have been driving me batty. Before starting this class I wondered if the procedures were safe, now I know they aren't.

I was anxious when I first realized the sauce was not disposed of after the first (known) reheat. And when I found out during the second (known) reheat the roasters were placed in a cool room and not only the pans put in the walk in cooler I had an actual 'grab hold of something solid and take deep breaths' anxiety attack.

My official position in this lodge is that of designated cook. BUT various other groups have their functions involving my kitchen that I have no say over. This was one of those times.

This was a vent (thanks), and also, how do you drag someones head out of their no sunshine areas?

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Old 04-10-2008, 07:56 PM   #2
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Oh! I am speechless. What potential for disaster!!! Glad you were able to vent.
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Old 04-10-2008, 08:05 PM   #3
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!! I've been known to do things which others on this site would consider unsafe (such as like taking a ham sandwich for lunch unrefrigerated). This... I wouldn't do that in a million years, even for my own family. Let alone cooking this way for large groups of others...!

!!!
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Old 04-10-2008, 08:44 PM   #4
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Unfortunately you will probably never be able to change people like that. I am just glad you were able to dispose of that stuff before anyone got sick.
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:16 PM   #5
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Hi Wart:

I suggest you go to your boss ( that may be a person or a Lodge board) and explain what you have seen and the liability that the lodge is taking on by allowing these practices.

If there is a major food poisoning there, people will remember the name of the lodge, not the group who was using the facility. In addition, Lawyers will look to both the group and the lodge for damage recovery and the Health Department will hold the lodge responsible too, as they are the ones with the licensed kitchen.

All in all, this argument should convince your superiors to modify their oversight of their kitchen facilities.

If it doesn't, then you have a decision to make. Anxiety attacks are a message. You are going to feel really bad if something happens and you don't take some action. If you don't get support from your employer, call the Health Department.
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stassie View Post
!! I've been known to do things which others on this site would consider unsafe (such as like taking a ham sandwich for lunch unrefrigerated). ......
!!!
I'm in shock. Why, I haven't eaten an unrefrigerated ham, cheese and MAYO (gawd forbid) sandwich since.... Well, since I carried them almost every day through grade school in the seventies in my Bonanza lunch pail And working into the nineties! (lost the Bonanza lunch pail by then )

Seriously, I'm pretty interested in this thread. I thought I read on this site a while back that tomato sauce keeps very well.... something about the acids. And that's why a lot of places (and folks) don't refrigerate catsup....
Maybe I missed something, but catsup is pretty similar to spaghetti sauce, isn't it?
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:30 PM   #7
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As Frank Barone used to say, "Holy Crap!"

I'd say you saved the organization from law suits and any number of people from illness and/or death.
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Maybe I missed something, but catsup is pretty similar to spaghetti sauce, isn't it?
Only if you put meatballs and sausage in your ketchup
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mozart View Post
Only if you put meatballs and sausage in your ketchup
Close.......
I put tomato based sauce on my meatballs and sausage
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Close.......
I put tomato based sauce on my meatballs and sausage
Seriously, the difference is that tomato sauce is made with tomatoes, oil and spices. The ph is likely to be above the 4.6 required to not need refrigeration. When you add meat to the sauce, the ph of the meat raises the overall ph of the sauce and bacteria can multiply.

Ketchup is made from tomatoes, vinegar, and corn syrup. Vinegar has a ph of 2.2 and is able to keep the ph of the whole product below 4.6
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