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Most people know that food preparation food is vital step in food safety. But what about cooling food? Cooling gets less attention 보다 cooking, however it deserve to be every bit as important.

You are watching: In the two-stage cooling method

The FDA has certain regulations for cooling food safely. These regulations are often called the two-stage cooling process since they’re usually taught to food workers as two stages. Understanding the regulations are an essential for all food handlers.

Two stage cooling method

The FDA recommends the food be cooled native 135°F to 41°F (57°C to 5°C) in six hrs or less. This time border helps avoid dangerous bacteria growth. However the accuse don’t end there. The FDA Food Code has one added rule: Food must be cooled from 135°F come 70°F (57°C come 21°C) in two hrs or less. In this range, bacteria can twin in as small as 20 minutes. The quicker food passes v this temperature range, the better. Food workers have actually the remainder of the six hrs to take food through the staying temperature danger zone, indigenous 70°F down to 41°F (21°C to 5°C).

This entire cooling process is often called the two-stage cooling process. Some food workers learn it favor this:

Stage 1: Cool food from 135°F to 70°F (57°C to 21°C) in 2 hours.Stage 2: Cool food indigenous 70°F to 41°F (21°C come 5°C) in four hours.

Training food workers

Breaking up cooling guidelines right into two stages deserve to make them much easier to remember. ~ above the other hand, food employees who discover the indict as two stages might misunderstand some things around the regulations. For instance, part food workers may mistakenly take one hour come cool food in phase 1 and also take 5 hours come cool food in stage 2 (which is too long). Other food workers can forget the they don’t should start the clock on your cooling till food enters the Temperature hazard Zone at 135°F (57°C). Learning to effectively train employees on cooling approaches is integral to food manager training.

Just knowing the regulations doesn’t typical food workers will follow them. The best method to ensure suitable cooling is to make certain food workers understand the reasons behind the rules. It all starts through the temperature hazard zone.

The temperature peril zone

Bacteria grow best in food in the temperature variety between 135°F – 41°F (57°C – 5°C). This variety is so efficient for bacteria expansion that it’s referred to as the temperature hazard zone.

As food is cooled, it passes with the temperature hazard zone, offering bacteria time come multiply. If left out to cool, cook food can end up being unsafe in a matter of hours. The cooling step gives bacteria a chance to multiply to attention levels—if bacteria expansion isn’t controlled while food cools. That’s why the FDA guidelines room so effective. This guidelines ensure the food passes through the temperature hazard zone conveniently so bacteria don’t have a chance to make food unsafe.

Proper cooling methods for food

It can be tricky to cool a large batch of hot food. Techniques for cooling can aid take the heat out of the situation.

Separate food right into smaller portions. A huge pot of hot food put right into the refrigerator can become dangerous. The food in the center of the pot will certainly cool much more slowly than the food about the edges. Rice is a specific danger for this scenario since it holds warm so well. Instead, separate food right into containers that space 4 inch deep or less.Cover food loose while it cools. This lets heat escape more easily while food cools in the fridge. If food is safeguarded from air pollution from above, it deserve to be left uncovered while the cools.Stir loosened foods. Stirring is no an alternative for part foods, choose casseroles, however for loosened foods it have the right to be advantageous to also out cooling.Use an ice cream bath. Surround a container of food with ice water. Ideally, the water level must sit above the peak level of the food.

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Suzanna Sandridge

Editor’s note: This write-up was initially published in September 2014 and also has been updated because that freshness, accuracy, and also comprehensiveness.