What do all the most essential equipment in the food service industry have in common? They help control food temperatures. This is due to the fact that temperature affects the food in a myriad of ways. Temperature can not only alter foods consistency, as in the cooking process, but it can cause it to develop different kinds of bacteria. Temperature is the most important variable in any kitchen, and here are some of the facts about its importance.
Bacteria Stop Growing at Extreme Temps
There are certain temperatures where bacteria stop thriving. In these temperatures bacteria either don’t feed off of anything or simply die.
Keeping Food Out of the Danger Zone
There is a danger zone in terms of temperature, when left too long at food can grow bacteria and thrive. These are the temperatures between 40 and 140-degrees Fahrenheit. It’s imperative to keep the temperature below or higher than that.
Bacteria Don’t Die in Cold Temperatures
Bacteria do not die in cold temperatures. They only go dormant. The only way you can kill bacteria is to subject them to high temperatures, which is why it’s mandatory to cook our food except for a few special cases.
Keeping Food Refrigerated Doesn't Mean They Won’t Spoil
Food can still spoil even if it’s kept at a safe temperature. Bacteria SLOW it’s spread during refrigeration, but still does grow, albeit more slowly, if left at improper temps.
Only Reheat and Cool Food a Certain Number of Times Before it Goes Bad
Heating, cooling, and reheating multiple times will cause food to cross a threshold. After a certain point it will not be safe to continue this process. Reheating food means that the bacteria starts to thrive again. Reheating causes moisture to become trapped inside the food, and moisture speeds up decomposition by remaining hotter than its cold surroundings.
Dry Foods are Easier to Handle
Dried foods have a longer shelf life than most food, and are easier to refrigerate than every other kind of food. Due to their lack of moisture, dried foods need much less care in storage and in temperature management.
Resting Time is Essential Before Refrigeration
The resting period is the time cooked food is left to cool before cooling them. The problem is, it’s not necessary. It will only cause an uneven cooling process, and potentially cause issues.
Wrapping Food is Essential Before Refrigerating
Something you can do to ensure freshness when refrigerating (and sometimes heating up) is to wrap them up. It’s easy for food to contaminate other food if they’re both 39 degrees Fahrenheit and below. This is also why you should always wipe equipment with a clean towel before using it to handle them.