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ServSafe™ Exam Prep & Study Guide AtTheInstitute.com
7. The Flow of Food: Preparation AtTheInstitute.com
Section Goals• Understand and explain • Explain the options and the safe prep practices for procedures for safely various food types. cooling a variety of foods.• Know what a variance is • Know the procedure for and when you might need reheating food that will one. be hot-held for service.• Know the safe minimum • List the requirements cooking temperatures for regarding Consumer foods. Advisories.• Understand and explain • Explain the safe handling he methods for safely of foods cooked in thawing foods. microwave ovens.
Definitions• Variance – A document issued by a regulatory authority granting an operation permission to waive a particular requirement.• Brining – (similar to marinating.) Immersing a food product in a liquid containing salt and other flavorings. Ham is one example of a brined product.• Pooling – (as in pooled eggs) To combine any number of the same item. When eggs are pooled a number of eggs are removed from the shell and combined in one container. Pooling increases the risk of foodborne illness.
General Preparation Practices • Equipment: Make sure workstations, cutting boards, and utensils are cleaned and sanitized. (Helps prevent Cross-Contamination.) • Quantity: Remove from the cooler only as much food as you can prep in a short period of time. (Helps prevent Time-Temperature abuse.) • Storage: Return prepared food to the cooler or cook as quickly as possible. (Helps prevent Time-Temperature abuse.)
ThawingYou must thaw TCS in one of these four ways: • Thaw food in the refrigerator at 41 degrees or lower. • Submerge food under running, potable water at 70 degrees or lower. • Thaw food in a microwave. It must immediately be cooked! • Thaw the food as part of the cooking process.
Prepping Specific Foods: ProduceWhen prepping produce, follow these guidelines:• Protect produce from cross contamination. Ensure that produce does not touch surfaces exposed to raw meat, fish or poultry.• Prior to prepping , wash produce thoroughly under running water. – The water should be a little warmer than the produce. – Pay special attention to leafy greens like spinach. Remove outer leaves and pull apart to rinse the greens thoroughly.
Prepping Specific Foods: Produce (cont’d)• When soaking or storing produce in water or an ice water slurry, do not mix multiple items batches or cases.• In some cases, produce may be sanitized in water containing ozone. Check with your county or state health department.• Always refrigerate cut melons, sliced tomatoes and fresh cut leafy greens. Consider holding other produce under refrigeration too.• If your operation serves mainly a high-risk population, do not serve raw seed sprouts.
Prepping Specific Foods: Batters & BreadingBatters made with eggs and milk run the risk of time-temperature abuse and cross- contamination. Follow these guidelines:• Prep batters and breading in small batches. Store what you do not need under refrigeration at 41 degrees or lower.• Create a plan to discard unused batter or breading after a set amount of time.• Do not use the same batter or breading for different kinds of food where one of those foods is a common allergen.
Prepping Specific Foods: : Eggs & Egg MixturesWhen prepping eggs and egg mixtures, follow these guidelines:• Handle pooled eggs with care. Keep them refrigerated at 41 degrees or lower.• Consider using pasteurized eggs for dishes that will not be fully cooked liked custards and Caesar dressing.• If you mainly serve a high-risk population, use only pasteurized eggs. Regular shell eggs may be used if the item being prepared will be fully cooked – like a blueberry muffin.
Prepping Specific Foods: Salads Containing TCS FoodsIt is important to follow these guidelines:• Make sure leftover TCS foods that will be used to make salads have been handled correctly.• Throw out any leftover food held at 41 degrees or lower after seven days. Always check use-by dates before serving salads containing TCS foods.
Prepping Specific Foods: Juice Packaged On-SiteWhen packaging fresh fruit or vegetable juice onsite for later sale/service, you must treat the juice (pasteurize) according to an approved HACCP plan: – If you do not treat the juice in this manner, you must label it as specified by Federal regulations. A sample is provided below: “WARRNING: This product has not been pasteurized and, therefore, may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.”
Preparing Specific Foods: IceIce has many uses in the operation. Follow these guidelines to avoid contaminating ice:• Only make ice from water that is safe to drink.• Never use ice as an ingredient if it was used to keep food cold• Store ice scoops outside of the ice machine in a clean, protected location.• Never hold or carry ice in containers that have held raw meat, seafood or poultry – or chemicals.• Never use a glass or bare hands to scoop ice.
Practices That Require a VarianceYou need a variance if you plan to prepare food in any of the following ways.• Smoking food as a method of preservation• Using food additives or adding components like vinegar to preserve or alter food so that it no longer requires time-temperature control.• Curing food• Custom processing animals.• Packaging food using MAP, ROP or Sous Vide methods.• Sprouting seeds or beans• Offering live mollusks from a display tank.
Cooking FoodsThe only way to reduce pathogens in food to safe levels is to cook the food to its minimum internal temperature.While cooking does destroy pathogens, it does not destroy toxins that may have been produced.When preparing foods for those in a high-risk population, you may not undercook foods.
Cooking Requirements for Specific Foods: 165 degrees F.The following foods must be cooked to 165 degrees F. (for 15 seconds):• Poultry – including whole or ground chicken, turkey or duck.• Stuffing made with TCS ingredients• Stuffed meat, seafood, poultry or pasta• Dishes made with previously cooked, TCS foods
Cooking Requirements for Specific Foods: 155 degrees F.The following foods must be cooked to 155 degrees F. (for 15 seconds):• Ground meats like beef, pork and lamb• Injected meats - including brined meats like ham or flavor injected meats• Mechanically tenderized meats• Ground, chopped or minced seafood• Eggs that will be hot-held for service
Cooking Requirements for Specific Foods: 145 degrees F.The following foods must be cooked to 145 degrees F. (for 15 seconds):• Seafood – including fish, shellfish and crustaceans• Steaks/ chops of pork, beef, veal or lamb• Eggs that will be served immediately (to order)
Cooking Requirements for Specific Foods: 145 degrees F. (for 4 minutes)The following foods must be cooked to 135 degrees F. (for 4 minutes):• Roasts of pork, beef, veal or lamb
Cooking Requirements for Specific Foods: 135 degrees F.The following foods must be cooked to 135 degrees F. (for 15 seconds):• Commercially processed, ready to eat food that will be hot-held for service.• Fruits, veggies, grains and legumes that will be hot-held for service.
Cooking TCS Foods in the MicrowaveMeat, seafood, eggs and poultry cooked in a microwave oven, must be cooked to 165 degrees F. for 15 seconds. In addition, you must:• Cover the food to keep it from drying out.• Rotate or stir it half-way through the cooking process.• Let the food sit, covered for at least two minutes after cooking.• Check the temperature of the food in at least two places.
Partial Cooking (Par-cooking)Some operations cook food during preparation and then finish cooking it just before service. Follow these guidelines:1. Do not cook the food longer than 60 minutes during initial cooking.2. Cool the food immediately after cooking.3. Freeze or refrigerate the food after cooling.4. Heat the food to at least 165 degrees F. for 15 seconds for service.5. Cool the food if it will not be served immediately or held hot.
Partial Cooking : Additional ConcernsYour local regulatory authority may want you to have a written plan for Partially-cooked food will be handled. These procedures should describe:• How the requirements will be measured and documented.• What corrective actions will be taken if requirements are not met.• How food items will be marked to indicate that they require further cooking to ensure their safety.• How these foods will be separated from ready-to-eat foods during storage.
Consumer AdvisoryYou must cook TCS foods to their minimum internal temperatures listed in this chapter. – unless a customer requests otherwise. There are two requirements for consumer advisory:• Disclosure: If your menu includes TCS items that are served raw or undercooked, you must note it on the menu next to these items.• Reminder: You must advise customers that raw or undercooked food increases their risk of foodborne illness. This may be indicated on the menu, in brochures, signs or table tents. The FDA Advises against serving raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood or eggs to children.
Operations That Serve High-Risk PopulationsOperations that serve high-risk populations like hospitals, nursing homes or daycare centers may not serve certain items. NEVER serve the following:• Raw seeds or sprouts• Undercooked eggs, meat or seafood.
Cooling FoodsAs mentioned previously, pathogens grow well between 41 and 135 degrees F. And they grow very readily between 70 and 125 degrees F. When cooling food you need it to pass through this second (more dangerous) danger zone quickly. Therefore:• First cool food from 135 degrees to 70 degrees F. within two hours.• Then cool food from 70 degrees down to 41 degrees or lower in an additional four hours. This process is known as Two-Stage Cooling.
Two-Stage Cooling (cont’d)Rules for two-stage cooling:• If food has not reached 70 degrees F. within two hours, it must be reheated and cooled again or discarded.• If food is cooled from 135 down to 70 degrees in less than the required two hours, you may use the remaining time to cool it down to 41 degrees. However, the total cooling time still may not exceed six hours.
Factors That Affect CoolingCertain factors affect how quickly foods cool. Those factors include:• The thickness and density of the food. (Denser foods cool more slowly than less dense foods.)• The size and type of storage container. Stainless steel transfer heat away from food faster than plastic. Shallow pans cool more quickly than deep pans.
How To Cool FoodBefore cooling food you should reduce its size. This will allow it to cool faster. Cut large foods into smaller pieces or pour liquids into smaller metal containers: Cool the food by:• Utilizing an ice bath• Attaching an ice paddle to a mixer. (Ice paddles are available at restaurant supply stores.)• Use a Blast Chiller or Tumble-chiller when available.• Add ice as an ingredient in place of water.
Reheating Food For Hot HoldingFood that will be hot held for service must be reheated to 165° F. for 15 seconds, within two hours.*Remember that this applies only to food that will be hot-held. Food that will be reheated and immediately served may be reheated to any temperature.