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Danger Zone

In this assignment, you will work to become more familiar with what the danger zone is, how to avoid it and how to cook as safely as possible.

You will need to do 2 things to complete this assignment:

1. read the article below on The Danger Zone and then
2. answer this ON LINE FORM.

The most important factor for safe handling of food
and preventing food borne illness is keeping food
out of the Danger Zone.

Nearly 3/4 of all food- related illnesses are the result of poor temperature
control. Following the simple rule:

“Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold”

can prevent many food borne illnesses from occurring.

Bacteria that cause food borne illness multiply
quickest between 4°C and 60°C (40°F – 140°F). The
Danger Zone is this temperature range in which
bacteria and spoilage bacteria grow quickest. Lower
temperatures prevent the bacteria from growing to
dangerous levels. Temperatures above 60°C will kill
the bacteria. Foods that allow the growth of bacteria,
causing food-borne illness are called “potentially
hazardous foods” and should be kept out of the
Danger Zone.

These potentially hazardous food are:

• Meat, fish, or poultry, and foods containing these
such as casseroles, deli meats, salads and
sandwiches and plan ahead dinners.
• Eggs and other protein rich foods like soya bean
products and foods containing them such as
quiche, soya milk, salads and casseroles.
• Dairy products and foods containing dairy
products such as custards, soft cheeses, cream
filled baked goods and dairy desserts.
• Fresh cut or peeled fruit or vegetables such as cut
melons, fruit salads
• Cooked vegetables, beans, rice and pasta dishes.
• Shellfish (alive or cooked) and seafood or foods
containing seafood such as chowders, crab cakes.
• Sauces, gravy, and non commercial garlic in oil
mixtures.
• Sprouts such as alfalfa and bean sprouts.

The best way to protect food from the Danger Zone is to:

• Arrange shopping to get food quickly
into the refrigerator.
• Keep food cold by storing in a refrigerator at 4°C
(40°F) or below. Don’t overload the refrigerator.
• Keep food hot by maintaining it at 60°C (140°F) or
higher using a stove or steam table.
• Thaw foods in the refrigerator or in cold water
changing the water every 30 minutes.
• When cooking large meats or volumes of food, do
it in one uninterrupted step. Check the internal
temperature with a thermometer.
• Foods that are not being used immediately must be
cooled quickly. Reducing large volumes of food
into smaller portions will help in reducing cooling
times. Roasts, hams, or turkeys should be sliced
while still hot and put in shallow pans, no more
than two inches deep and then placed in the
refrigerator to cool. Containers of hot food can be
placed in a sink surrounded by ice or cold water for
more rapid cooling. Do not fully cover the food
until it has cooled to 4°C (40°F).
• Leftovers must be reheated to at least 74°C
(165°F).

If potentially hazardous foods are left in the danger
zone for less than two hours, the food can be safely
refrigerated or used immediately.

If the time exceeds two hours in the danger zone, bacterial growth would
be greater and the food could be unsafe. Therefore
follow the two-hour rule and refrigerate, freeze or
consume the food within two hours of purchase or
preparation.

There are four simple rules for food safety that will help ensure an enjoyable celebration:

CLEAN
wash hands, utensils and surfaces often
to keep everything clean and free of
bacteria
SEPARATE
keep foods separate to avoid cross
contamination
COOK
cook to proper temperatures
CHILL
refrigerate foods promptly

Measuring Food Temperatures

• Appearance and touch are not reliable indicators
of safe temperatures. Taking the temperature of
the food using a proper food thermometer is the
only sure way of knowing that food is not in the
Danger Zone. Check the temperature of food with
either a metal stem probe or digital read type
thermometer.
• Checking the temperature of a refrigerator, can be
done using a stick-on thermometer stuck to the
inside wall of the unit or by hanging or placing a
thermometer on a shelf. Thermometers should be
located near the door which is the warmest area of
the refrigerator.

Recommended Internal Cooking Temperatures

Pork, Veal, Lamb – 71°C (160°F)
Ground Meat – 71°C (160°F)
Whole chicken/turkey 82°C (180°F)
Chicken/turkey Stuffing (inside temp.) 74C (165°F)
Chicken/turkey pieces 77°C (170°F)
Ground Poultry 74°C (165°F)
Beef steaks/roasts 63°C (145°F) for medium rare,
71°C (160°F) for medium, or 77°C (170°F) for well
done.

A music video: Don’t get sicky wit it

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