The honeymoon with food is over. We had our first class with Chef Richard and covered a lot of material related to food safety, regulations and how we should think about food preparation going forward.
This class understandably draws lots of groans when it comes up in conversation, and that’s understandable. It’s not a pleasant topic, and yet it’s one of the most important ones that we’ll have to learn about as students. Customers trust food operations with their lives, literally. I hesitate to use a word such as fascinating to describe the class, but it was informative, eye opening and at times overwhelming.
There is a lot to cover in preparation for the managerial exam that is coming up. The biggest focal point was on bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins, and physical risks and controlling what you can to increase safety.
FATTOM: Optimum Conditions for Bacterial Growth
- Food > high in protein or carbohydrates
- Acidity > neutral or slightly acidic
- Time > cummulative 4 hours in the temperature danger zone
- Temperature > in the temperature danger zone (41 degrees F to 135 degrees F)
- Oxygen > aerobic or anaerobic growth depending on the bacteria
- Moisture > adequate moisture for growth
Key Observations and Learnings:
- Look at food through the eyes of a food health inspector. This will go a long way to keeping your customers safe and employing good practices.
- Food inspectors are looking for risks. Sometimes Food Quality and Food Safety are at ads. Always go for safety first.
- Cold food must be maintained at 41 degrees F or lower
- Hot food must be maintained at 135 degrees F or higher (140 in Massachusetts for now)