Ensure Food Safety with Blast Chilling

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  • Get Out of the Danger Zone- Food safety is compromised when bacteria begin to thrive. These bacteria become active within the 40F-140F danger zone. FDA and HACCP regulations permit a maximum of 6 hours to chill food to safe levels, but some states are permitting only 4 hours. Since there is no way to be certain when contamination has reached dangerous levels, it is important for food service operators to be able to protect themselves and their customers from these foodborne pathogens.
  • Blast Chilling to the Rescue- Blast chilling uses cold convected air to rapidly cool cooked foods from 140F to 40F in less than 2 hours. Blast chillers work by either pulling heat from cooked foods or by blowing cold air directly onto foods to chill them. In fact, cooked foods or leftover foods placed in blast chillers can take as little as 30 to 90 minutes to chill to recommended safe levels. Traditional methods of refrigeration such as walk-in coolers or reach-in refrigerators could take as long as 14 hours to chill foods to below 45F. This leaves a large window of opportunity for foodborne pathogens to form. Blast chilling or shock freezing food is your best defense against the health hazards of food that has not been properly chilled.
  • Maintain Food Quality and Appearance- Foods that are reheated after blast chilling are consistent in appearance, taste, smell, tenderness and humidity. Many popular menu items like roasted meats and poultry can be prepared in advance, blast-chilled and then reheated, reducing preparation time. Blast chilling preserves the quality and appearance of items which are dense or hard to cool such as casseroles. Products with ingredients that spoil quickly such as eggs, mayonnaise, cheese or cream cheese are perfect candidates for blast chilling. With blast chilling, foods can be safely held for a period of 5 days (including the date of production and the date of consumption) while maintaining their nutritional value.
  • Other Benefits of Blast Chilling- Although proper food handling and safety is of primary concern, there are many practical advantages of using blast chillers. Here are just a few:
  • Improved inventory control because food will no longer be wasted
  • Ability to cook in bulk for longer periods of time
  • Better food combinations
  • Easier food regeneration
  • Ability to stock a wider variety of food products
  • Reduction of overall costs
  • Ability to internally produce many products that would normally be purchased from an outside source
  • Increased productivity

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