keeping things cold question

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by vloglady, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. vloglady

    vloglady

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    How cold does cooked food need to be? Cooked rice and chicken, cooked pasta and chicken. no dressing.
     
  2. castironchef

    castironchef

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    The food police will tell you that, unless the food is dry and shelf stable (e.g. uncooked rice, or bread, or other pantry items), it must be kept below 40 deg. F. (and that's the internal temp. of the food, not the air temp around it!). "Chilly" outside of a warmer car won't cut it.

    Leaving them at room temperature is not a good idea. The "nasties" can multiply quite rapidly in cooked rice and pasta, especially with extra proteins around such as the chicken.
     
  3. mudbug

    mudbug

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    If you put them in a cooler with ice or dry ice, then you can keep them wherever you need.
     
  4. tigerwoman

    tigerwoman

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    It was snowing in NY on Wednesday and then it turned warm and sunny. WHat you are suggesting is a recipe for disaster. From chicken to rice bacteria grows quickly and is not neccessarily disernable (sp?) food can have enough of a bad bacteria count without tasting bad and also can turn in the middle of your event if it has been sitting out for that many hours previous to start time of party. Why risk your reputation and the health of your friends and co workers?

    Rent or buy coolers - use ice packs or even frozen containers of ice, or dry ice (may be too cold). Also important to keep hot food at proper temperatures also. If you are catering often I strongly suggest looking into purchasing cambro thermal insulated units or some other like brand - they enable you to transport and hold food at safe temperatures for much longer than just wrapping up. Coolers work for both hot and hold food though not as well as the cambros.

    You can use one food to help keep another hot - like baked potatoes hold their heat well. Maybe you can borrow some refrigerater space in a neigbhors home or a nearby office? Think food safety - it's really important!
     
  5. aprilb

    aprilb

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    Food poisoning from rice from chinese restaurants is more common than people realize. Improper cooling, handling...same with turkey dressing. Rice has all kinds of wonderful vitamins and stuff that bacteria just LOVE.

    Same with cold chicken at family picnics.

    The general temp range for cold food is anything above freezing (33) to 41. I'd say that keeping the items under 40 would be a good safe bet. I'm also an advocate of erring on the side of safety. I'm just understandably paranoid.

    Dry Ice would probably be too cold unless it was a small amount and the food wasn't touching. CO2 will freeze food rapidly. Great for fast freezing fruit so they won't crystalize, but not the desired effect that you want. You'd have to monitor to adjust how much you'd need to maintain your desired temp.

    I'd also invest in a digital read meat thermometer with a probe. The type that has a long cable so that you can have the almost instant readout on the outside of your oven. I LOVE my thermometer. Not that expensive and a good kitchen buddy. You can sanitize the probe easily. Stick it in the middle of the cooled product and you can leave the readout on the outside of your container.

    On the other side of the scale...hot foods ... 141 + holding temp. Not roasts or something that needs to be prepared rare. (why anyone would prepare a filet like a charcoal briquette is beyond me but it happens)

    Hope this helps

    April