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Most civilization know that food preparation food is an essential step in food safety. Yet what about cooling food? Cooling gets less attention 보다 cooking, yet it have the right to be every little bit as important.

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The FDA has certain regulations for cooling food safely. This regulations are often referred to as the two-stage cooling process since they’re generally taught come food employees as two stages. Understanding the regulation are vital for every food handlers.

Two phase cooling method

The FDA recommends the food be cooled native 135°F come 41°F (57°C to 5°C) in six hrs or less. This time limit helps stop dangerous bacteria growth. However the accuse don’t end there. The FDA Food Code has one additional rule: Food must be cooled indigenous 135°F come 70°F (57°C come 21°C) in two hrs or less. In this range, bacteria can double in as little as 20 minutes. The faster food passes through this temperature range, the better. Food workers have actually the remainder of the six hours to take food through the remaining temperature peril zone, from 70°F down to 41°F (21°C to 5°C).

This whole cooling procedure is often called the two-stage cooling process. Part food workers learn it choose this:

Stage 1: Cool food from 135°F to 70°F (57°C to 21°C) in 2 hours.Stage 2: Cool food native 70°F to 41°F (21°C come 5°C) in four hours.

Training food workers

Breaking increase cooling guidelines right into two stages deserve to make them simpler to remember. ~ above the various other hand, food employees who discover the guidelines as 2 stages might misunderstand part things around the regulations. For instance, part food workers might mistakenly take one hour to cool food in phase 1 and take 5 hours to cool food in stage 2 (which is also long). Various other food workers could forget that they don’t need to start the clock on their cooling until food beginning the Temperature peril Zone at 135°F (57°C). Discovering to appropriately train employees on cooling techniques is integral come food manager training.

Just learning the regulations doesn’t mean food workers will certainly follow them. The best method to ensure appropriate cooling is to make certain food workers understand the factors behind the rules. It all starts with the temperature risk zone.

The temperature hazard zone

Bacteria grow finest in food in the temperature range between 135°F – 41°F (57°C – 5°C). This selection is so reliable for bacteria expansion that it’s referred to as the temperature peril zone.

As food is cooled, the passes through the temperature risk zone, giving bacteria time come multiply. If left out to cool, cooking food can become unsafe in a issue of hours. The cooling step gives bacteria a possibility to multiply to attention levels—if bacteria growth isn’t regulated while food cools. That’s why the FDA guidelines room so effective. These guidelines ensure the food passes through the temperature danger zone quickly so bacteria don’t have a opportunity to make food unsafe.

Proper cooling approaches for food

It have the right to be tricky come cool a big batch of hot food. Methods for cooling can aid take the warmth out that the situation.

Separate food right into smaller portions. A huge pot of warm food put right into the refrigerator can come to be dangerous. The food in the center of the pot will certainly cool much an ext slowly than the food roughly the edges. Rice is a particular danger because that this scenario because it holds warmth so well. Instead, different food into containers that room 4 customs deep or less.Cover food loose while it cools. This lets warm escape more easily when food cools in the fridge. If food is defended from contamination from above, it can be left uncovered while that cools.Stir loosened foods. Stirring is not an choice for some foods, favor casseroles, but for loose foods it can be useful to also out cooling.Use an ice bath. Surround a container the food with ice water. Ideally, the water level need to sit above the top level of the food.

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Suzanna Sandridge

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in September 2014 and also has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and also comprehensiveness.