(1) Immerse hot foods in an ice bath for rapid cooling. This should be done
before placing food items in refrigeration units.
(2) Use larger refrigeration units for initial cooling.
THAWING FROZEN FOODS
Allowing frozen foods to thaw at room temperature is as dangerous as allowing
hot foods to cool at room temperature. Both practices permit food to remain in the
temperature danger zone too long. Thawing should be done by one of the following
a. In a refrigerator at a temperature of 45 F or below.
b. As part of the cooking process.
c. In a microwave oven.
(1) If food is to be cooked in a microwave oven, then cooking should
immediately follow thawing.
(2) If food is to be cooked in a conventional oven, then food should be
immediately transferred from the microwave oven after thawing.
d. Under potable running water at a temperature of 70 F or below.
(1) The food product should be in a sealed plastic bag.
(2) This is the least preferred method for tempering or thawing.
USING A THERMOMETER TO DETERMINE FOOD TEMPERATURE
The temperature of a refrigeration unit does not give a true reading of the
temperature of the food products that it contains. A thermometer placed in a food item
is the only way to accurately determine the temperature of the item. The supervisor of
the food service facility must frequently monitor the temperature of potentially
hazardous foods. The serving line is another area where food product temperature
must be monitored. Hot foods that are held must be maintained at 140 F or above.
When inspecting a food service facility, observe the supervisor or responsible food
service personnel to ensure that they have a pocket thermometer, that they know how
to use it, and that they do use it. Use of a thermometer is the best way to determine
that foods are maintained at safe temperatures.