Picnics are the way to go! However, foods can spoil easily and faster than you think in the hot summer outdoors, where bacteria tend to flourish. Some tips on how to keep your food and yourself healthy and safe.
- Keep all perishable food in the refrigerator or freezer at no more than 40°F prior to leaving on your trip. The last thing you should do before leaving on your trip is to pack up the foods, directly from the refrigerator and freezer, into the coolers. Keep the meat, poultry, and seafood frozen so that they stay colder longer.
- The best way to pack your cooler is to place the raw meat, poultry and seafood at the bottom of the cooler, wrapped in bags or in sealed containers, to avoid juices from spilling on other foods.
- Never place cooler in the trunk of a car since trunk temperatures can climb up to 150°F or higher on a hot summer day. Make sure to place coolers in an air-conditioned area of the car or van.
- Once at your picnic area, ensure that your coolers are kept in the shade at all times. Limit the amount of times that the cooler is being opened. It would be best to have two separate coolers, one for the drinks and snacks, and the second for the real food so that the one holding the food isn’t constantly being opened and closed, allowing the hot air into the cooler.
For some reason, when people think of food safety, ice is not one of the first things that come to mind. However, the importance of handling ice properly is just as important as the safe handling of meat, fish, and all other foods. It is important for employees to be taught how to handle ice safely in order to avoid, in the best case scenario, bad tasting ice, and in the worst case scenario, poisoning. For best ice results, make sure to follow these guidelines.
- Clean ice machines on a daily basis. Otherwise, the machines, aside from producing poorer quality, bad tasting ice, won’t work as well, and will use more energy to reach its proper temperature since slime and mineral deposits build-up in the machines.
- Clean all ice supplies, such as buckets, tongs, pitchers, picks etc., with hot soapy water or place them in the dishwasher after each use. Make sure they are left to dry fully.
- Filtered water to make ice cubes is the way to go. Have a filtered water system installed in your ice machine in order to get the best quality ice for your guests.
- All employees must wash their hands prior to handling ice, even though they are not meant to actually touch the ice with their hands.
- Make sure to have separate equipment that is made for the handling of ice only.
- Never reuse used ice. You want to supply your guests with the freshest ice at all times.
There are those people who open the fridge door, stare at the food inside and just stand there thinking about whether or not to pull anything out. Then there are those who have been drilled for years to keep the refrigerator door closed, or else all the cold air will escape! Refrigerators are actually very tough when it comes to regulating their temperatures- that is, if the thermostats are in good working condition! However, there are various everyday habits that we have that can damage our refrigerators and freezers. Here are 5 of the most common ways we damage our refrigerators and freezers:
- If the shelves in your refrigerator or freezer have slats, refrain from putting a cover on top of the shelves. Doing so will inhibt the circulation of cold air. Solid glass shelves are not a problem, as the unit is built to accomodate these type of shelves. However, slotted shelves should be left uncovered or, in case of emergency, make sure to cut some holes in the covering.
- Ever used a sharp object to get rid of the crumbs stuck in the rubber gasket? Rubber gaskets and sharp objects are not on the best of terms and will do more damage than good. Next time, try using a soft-toothbrush, a rag and a vacuum cleaner. These do a better job at removing crumbs and do not damage the gasket. Aditionally, when something sticky spills onto the gasket and dries, the gasket will get stuck to the fridge. Pulling the fridge door open can cause the gasket to rip. Make sure to wipe down anything that spills using a soft cloth to avoid gasket mishaps.
- The million dollar question: Does placing hot pots directly into the refrigerator inflict damage? Well, the answer is both yes and no. Putting hot food straight into the refrigerator won’t harm the refrigerator but putting it into the freezer will create moisture that will build up on the freezer coils, forming ice. The real problem is that placing hot food into the fridge will increase the overall temperature in the refrigerator, which can cause perishable food already inside to spoil. That is why it is a good idea to allow the food to cool a bit before placing it in the refrigerator/freezer.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, the most important “guest” at the dinner table is the turkey. All the others attending the feast will be “keeping an eye” on that turkey. Therefore, you really want to make sure that you choose the right size and type of turkey in order to create the ideal Thanksgiving dinner experience. The following are some tips to help you with your Thanksgiving turkey.
1) Knowing in advance how many other guests will be attending your dinner is an excellent idea and it will save you much headache. On average,
individuals (especially males) can consume approximately two pounds of turkey. As a rule, it is always better to have some left-over food rather than not having enough. You would never want anyone leaving your house hungry. If left-overs don’t sit well with you, just remember that you can always doggy bag whatever is left for your guests to take home with them.
2) A younger turkey is usually a better choice since they tend to be more tender and juicy than the adults.
3) When packaging the turkey, the skin is marked with an A, B or C. You definitely want to pick an A graded turkey since these are the ones that are just about bruise, blemish and feather free. As the letter decreases, so do the skin conditions.
Think all you want that blast chillers are for specialty restaurants and hi-speed services. With great increases in food contamination, this equipment is steadfastly becoming a necessity for any establishment. What exactly does a blast chiller do?