hot-holding soups

Joined Aug 7, 2008
As far as I know there are no health code restrictions for hot holding times here. If a hot item like soup is over 140 degrees it is in the safe zone. By those standards we would have to pull numerous sauces several times a day and pitch them. IMO that's way over the top. In fact I not only hold some for several hours we cool properly and use another day. If it's outside of the HACCP temps then two hours is about it but that's another story. Who tosses out demi, soup, beurre rouge etc. every two hours?
Joined May 8, 2009
Maybe Pembroke (UK) works under different regulations than we do in the States.
The 'buffet hot holding regulations' are different then the 'food service hot holding regulations' where I live.
Also, we can re-heat an item and then NOT 'hot hold', as long as the remainder is thrown away after X amount of time.
I looked at the online food handler's manual for my county but couldn't find exact answers, but I did find this gem...

Jewelry can hide germs that cause foodborne illness and make it hard to wash
hands. Jewelry can also fall into food. While preparing food, food workers must
remove watches, rings, bracelets, and all other jewelry on the arms or hands.
Exception: Wedding rings may be worn if they are covered with a glove when
the food worker is preparing food.

See, married people have magic anti-germ powers.
Double standard much?
Anyhow, I digest... :p

PS Merry Christmas to you all too!
Joined Aug 7, 2008
"Maybe Pembroke (UK) works under different regulations than we do in the States"

I'm sure that's true I was just hoping to understand why. If food is in the HACCP zone then it is safe and there should be no need to throw it out. If I prepare several prime ribs for dinner service do I toss them after two hours? That just doesn't make any sense to me. If you have to toss hot food every two hours why even bother worrying about HACCP?
Joined Jan 6, 2016
This is an extremely old thread, but I wanted to weigh in for anyone who might be going down the same path. So I have discovered Sodium Citrate. It allows cheese to melt and not break. I can literally take water and a tablespoon or two of sodium citrate bring to a simmer and dump shredded cheddar into it without breaking. It is a citric salt so not harmful and it has a unique property. The soup would benefit from sodium citrate in that it would not break, but hot hold will start to turn the color and caramelize around the side of the pot. A watchful cook or a watchful eye can really help this, with a touch of water every now and then, and a whisk handy it should be possible without a doubt to hot hold for 4-5 hours, especially with a bane marie
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