Cooking is a particularly important procedure in order to ensure food safety. Heat treatment destroys pathogenic microorganisms. Incomplete heat treatment results in the survival of pathogenic microorganisms.
Some basic rules regarding heat treatment are the following :
- food tasting with dirty spoons or fingers is FORBITTEN
- cooked food must be eaten on the same day. Otherwise, it should be discarded (unless it is properly cooled and placed in a refrigerator after cooking)
- the temperature of all cooked foods should be reduced to 21οC within 2 hours
- cooked food should not be left at room temperature for more than 4 hours
After cooking keep perishable foods either hot (above 60οC) or cold (below 5oC).
Foods should always be cooked at temperatures > 75oC and they should be properly refrigerated at temperatures <5oC. Foods not be reheated more than once.
Before serving, food can remain at room temperature (10-21οC) , refrigerator temperature (<5οC) , freezer temperature (<-18οC , ice creams in showcase <-14οC)
The ideal hot holding temperature is > 60°C.
Cooked food should be divided into smaller portions in order to be served, cooled or refrigerated.
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