Do you Cook Everything at the Correct Temperatures?



Proper Cooking Temperatures

Food temperature guidelines for restaurant workers in Chicago, IL:

Cooking and serving food at safe temperatures is one of the most effective ways to prevent foodborne illness. Patrons can become extremely ill from eating meat, poultry or fish that is not cooked to the proper temperature.

When patrons become ill from bacterial diseases such as E. coli or salmonella, they can suffer from symptoms for up to six weeks after consuming the food. In addition, children, pregnant women, people over 65 and those with chronic illnesses may experience serious health issues as a result of eating tainted foods. Protect the health of your patrons and keep them coming back for great meals by following these safety precautions.

Food Delivery
Food safety begins when your restaurant receives the shipment of food. If perishable items are not refrigerated at 41° F or below for more than four hours, the food should be thrown out. Frozen foods that are not kept at 0° F or below should be thrown out as well. When deliveries are made, check the temperatures and notify your supervisor before accepting foods with temperatures that fall outside of these ranges.

Storage
Many foods can spoil while in the refrigerator or freezer simply because the appliance is not set at the proper temperature. Refrigerators should be set at 38° F or below in the air and the food itself should be 41° F or below. In addition, seafood should be stored at 30° to 34° F and fresh produce should be at 41° to 45° F. 

Thawing
When thawing frozen foods, place the item in the refrigerator or under running water that is 70° F or cooler. Never allow items to sit at room temperature to thaw.

Cooking
The cooking temperature of foods, especially meats, is the most important part of food preparation. Remember to measure temperature using a thermometer in the thickest part of the food and avoid touching fat, gristle or bone. If you are preparing a dish with multiple ingredients, follow the temperature guidelines for ingredient with the highest temperature requirement.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends the following internal temperature minimums:  

  • Fish: 145° F
  • Roasts and steaks: 145° F
  • Pork: 145° F
  • Egg dishes: 160° F
  • Ground beef, pork, veal, lamb: 160° F
  • Ground turkey, chicken: 165° F
  • Poultry: 165° F

Using a food thermometer to ensure that the food you’re preparing is cooked to the proper temperature not only prevents the spread of foodborne illness, it will help you avoid overcooking the dish as well. 

If you have questions or concerns on this issue, do not hesitate to call Zeiler Insurance and speak to one of our customer service representatives. As an independent agency, Zeiler Insurance prides itself with quality customer service for the people of the Chicago-land area and the rest of the Midwest. Customer or not, we can review your insurance and see if you are being protected appropriately for the right price.

Karli
karli@zeiler.com
708.597.5900 x130

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