Safer Food Better Business - Keeping Your 5* Food Hygiene Rating - Part 4

Part 4 Chilling – 5 Cool Rules

“Chilling food properly helps to stop harmful bacteria from growing” SFBB pack

I know every time that I go into a kitchen there will be food left out for some reason. Sandwiches, prepared salads, pots of sauces or even hot food being cooled and left on the side for ‘later’ whenever that maybe. What could possibly be the problem I’m asked?

Time and temperature control are key to preventing bacteria from growing. Think about how warm your kitchen is, possibly around 25oc+ which is just like a nice warm summer’s day. Remember that bacteria will grow best between 8oc to 63oc. Always cover foods and store prepared and ready-to-eat (RTE) food in a fridge until required. Do your bit for food safety.

5 Cool Rules for Food Safety

1. Chill at 5 degrees centigrade or below As soon as you open your fridge, the temperature will increase, before you know it you’ve reached the legal temperature of 8oc. Using a probe at the beginning of each day will tell you if your fridge temperature dial is telling you the truth!

2. Time controlled After cooking, put food into the fridge within 2 hours or less. Portion food into smaller portions to help cool quickly, this includes leftovers. It the same for deliveries always move chilled food deliveries to your fridges as quickly as possible. Remember “First-in-first out” for your stock rotation.

3. Storage safety Ready-to-eat food such as cheese, yoghurts and cooked meats on the top and middle shelves. Raw meat, fish and eggs should be stored at the bottom of your fridge so that they don’t touch or drip on to other foods.

4. It’s not cool to over fill Overpacked fridges will prevent the air moving around the fridge and stop it working correctly. Food will warm up and bacteria will start to multiply.

5. Covered, dated and checked Ensure all food is covered, has a date label and all allergens are identified. Don’t forget to check the date labels every day and bin out of date food immediately.

I hope this helps you better understand the rules around chilling food. If there is anything you don't understand and /or need help and guidance with please get in touch. Our industry is currently experiencing tough times and a five star rating could make all the difference to your business. Contact me.

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