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Frequently Asked Questions
  • What about those times where I need to take food somewhere, such as a picnic or a sack lunch?
  • What is a safe temperature for food?
  • When I prepare a large pot of soup, what is the best procedure for safely cooling the soup?

     

    What about those times where I need to take food somewhere, such as a picnic or a sack lunch?  

    For safety, either take foods that can be kept at room temperature or else keep the food cold.  For sack lunches, a frozen can of fruit juice is a good way to keep the entire lunch cold and the juice will be thawed by lunch.  Gel packs or ice chests are also effective at keeping food cold.

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    What is a safe temperature for food?  

    The temperature range in which growth of most bacteria occurs is between 40 and 140įF.  Perishable foods (foods that will support bacteria growth) need to either be kept cold (refrigerated or frozen) or else 'hot-held' which means that the food is 140 degrees or hotter.  The temperature range that supports growth of bacteria is sometimes called the danger zone.

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    When I prepare a large pot of soup, what is the best procedure for safely cooling the soup?  

    A good way is to put the kettle of soup into a sink full of ice water and cool the soup.  After the soup has partially cooled, you can put the soup into serving-size containers and put it into the refrigerator.  Do not put a large container of hot soup directly into the refrigerator Ė it may take too long to cool.  (Bacteria can grow in the soup while it is in the danger zone.)  If you donít use an ice bath and want to put the soup directly into the refrigerator, use shallow containers.  Donít cover the storage containers until the soup is cooled.

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