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Proper Cooling of Food
Properly Cooling Food
Improperly cooled foods allow for the growth of bacteria and other harmful pathogens. Food must pass through the temperature danger zone (41°F to 135°F) as quickly as possible in order to retard the growth of such pathogens. Foods such as roasts, pastas, potatoes, casseroles, soups, and rice shall be cooled from 135°F to 70°F in two hours and from 70°F to 41°F in the next four hours. The total process shall take no more than six hours.

Cooling can be accomplished in several different ways:
  • Separate food into smaller portions
  • Place food in an ice bath and stir to allow the heat to escape
  • Never allow foods to sit on the counter unattended to cool or place foods directly in the cooler with a lid or cover. This will trap the heat and prevent cooling
  • The only way to know if your food has completely cooled is to check it with a thermometer

For more information, see Cooling Procedures.