Originally Posted by Jovin
This is Jovin now. I made my daughter register for herself, since I've had to come to get advice here for her before.
I sure wish you would give details on correct chilling procedures, because this has been a real problem between my SIL and myself for some time now.
Whenever I stay at my other daughter's out of town and I cook dinner, my SIL insists that the food CANNOT be put into the fridge for like a couple or more hours later! I don't agree with this at all, so if you can show me the correct way, I'm going to print it out and put it before his eyes next time I see him!
Thanks for all of your help.
I really love your currier and ives signature!
I'm certified in food safety and sanitation. More time is spent on proper temperatures and holding than almost anything else. Food is a breeding ground for bacteria, spores and viruses. Food borne illnesses are almost always a result of improper holding/handling.
You must keep hot foot hot, 140 degrees, and cold food cold, 40 degrees. You have a two hour window of service that food can vary from these temperatures. After that two hours you must either reheat quickly, or chill, quickly.
Naturally, the type of food we are talking about is going to determine how you chill. For instance, if you have made a thick stew for dinner and have about 1 gallon left over, you have to chill it 40 degrees within two hours for the food to be safe to eat again. If you put the stew on the counter to cool, and temp it after two hours, it will probably be 85 degrees and completely unsafe for another consumption. It was out of the 140 range for more than two hours, and not in the 40 range for any time at all. The best way to quickly chill that stew would be to put it into a shallow pan, spreading it out as much as possible. Then, you have to put it directly into the fridge, uncovered. Covering it will trap steam, making it impossible to quickly cool. Come back every half hour or so to give it a stir. Temp it after two hours and you'll see that it is 40 degrees. The stew, laid out thinly won't really raise the temperature of your fridge (a common misbelief) because it cools so quickly. Put that stew in there in a big bowl and the temperature will rise because you have this hot pot that simply cannot get cool.
A pie is a little more difficult to cool because it's so thick and not meant to be taken apart. When you remove it from the oven, it's going to be 350 degrees. Most fruit pies can sit out for a day, but something like coconut custard should be cooled. Give it 20 minutes on the counter and then right into the fridge, preferably in the coldest spot. That is usually the spot where you avoid putting any lettuce or spinach because it freezes solid.
So, tell you SIL that you have two hours to get something to a safe temperature zone. Leaving something on the counter just wastes all the cooling time you have. After that, the growth of micro organisms is off the chart, usually in the millions per inch.
If she brings up thawing food on the counter, send her to me