- Make sure workstations, cutting boards, and utensils are clean and sanitized - Prep food in small batches- Return prepped food to the cooler or cook it as quickly as possible

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1. Thaw food in a cooler, at a product temperature of 41°F (5°C) or lower 2. Submerge food under running water at 70°F (21°C) or lower 3. Thaw food in a microwave, only if cooked immediately after thawing4. Thaw as part of the cooking process
- Make sure produce does not touch surfaces exposed to raw meat and poultry- Refrigerate and hold sliced melons and cut tomatoes at 41°F (5°C) or lower- Do not serve raw seed sprouts if you primarily serve high-risk populations- Wash it thoroughly under running water before cutting, cooking, or combining with other ingredients - Use water a little warmer than the create - Pull leafy greens apart and rinse thoroughlyWhen soaking or storing produce in standing water or an ice-water slurry, do not mix: - Different items - Multiple batches of the same item
- Prep batter in small batches- Throw out unused batter or breading after a set amount of time- Do NOT use the same batter or breading for different food items if one item can cause an allergic reaction
- Handle pooled eggs (if allowed) with care: - Cook promptly after mixing or store at 41°F (5°C) or lower - Wash and sanitize containers between batches- Consider using pasteurized shell eggs or egg products when prepping dishes requiring little or no cooking
- Use pasteurized shell eggs if eggs will be pooled- Use pasteurized eggs or egg products when serving raw or undercooked dishes - Unpasteurized shell eggs can be used if the dish will be cooked all the way through (i.e., omelets, cakes)
Make sure leftover TCS ingredients (i.e., pasta, chicken, potatoes) have been handled safely by ensuring that they were: - Cooked, held, and cooled correctly - Stored for less than 7 days at 41°F (5°C) or lower
- The juice must be treated (e.g., pasteurized) according to an approved HACCP plan- As an alternative, the juice must be labeled as specified by federal regulation
- Never use ice as an ingredient if it was used to keep food cold- Transfer ice using clean and sanitized containers and scoops- Never hold ice in containers that held raw meat, seafood, poultry, or chemicals- Store ice scoops outside ice machines in a clean, protected location- Never use a glass to scoop ice or touch ice with hands
You need a variance if prepping food in these ways: - Smoking food to preserve it but not to enhance flavor - Using food additives or components to preserve or alter food so it no longer needs time and temperature control for safety - Curing food - Custom-processing pets - Packaging food using a reduced-oxygen packaging (ROP) method - Sprouting seeds or beans - Offering live, molluscan shellfish from a display tank
- Reach the required minimum internal temperature- Hold that temperature for a specific amount of time
165°F (74°C) for 15 seconds - Poultry—whole or ground chicken, turkey or duck - Stuffing made with TCS ingredients - Stuffed meat, seafood, poultry, or pasta - Dishes that include previously cooked, TCS ingredients155°F (68°C) for 15 seconds - Ground meat—beef, pork, and other meat - Injected meat—including brined ham and flavor-injected roasts - Ground seafood—including chopped or minced seafood - Eggs that will be hot-held for service145°F (63°C) for 15 seconds - Seafood—including fish, shellfish, and crustaceans - Steaks/chops of pork, beef, veal, and lamb - Eggs that will be served immediately145°F (63°C) for 4 minutes - Roasts of pork, beef, veal, and lamb135°F (57°C) - Commercially processed, ready-to-eat food that will be hot-held for service (cheese sticks, deep-fried vegetables) - Fruit, vegetables, grains (rice, pasta), and legumes (beans, refried beans) that will be hot-held for service
Minimum internal cooking temperature in microwave:
165°F (74°C) - Meat - Seafood - Poultry - Eggs
When cooking food in a microwave:
- Cover it to prevent the surface from drying out- Rotate or stir it halfway through cooking so heat reaches the food more evenly- Let it stand for at least 2 minutes after cooking to let the food temperature even out- Check the temperature in at least 2 places to make sure the food is cooked through
- Note it on the menu next to the items- Advise customers who order this food of the increased risk of foodborne illness - Post a notice in the menu - Provide this information using brochures, table tents, or signs
In Operations That Mainly Serve High-Risk Populations, Never Serve:
Raw seed sproutsRaw or undercooked eggs, meat, or seafood
Cooling Requirements
- From 135˚F to 70˚F (57˚C to 21˚C): 2 Hours- From 70˚F to 41˚F (21˚C to 5˚C): 4 HoursIf you cool food from 135˚F to 70˚F (57˚C to 21˚C) in less than 2 hours: - Use the remaining time to cool it to 41˚F (5˚C) or lower - The total cooling time cannot be longer than 6 hoursExample: - If you cool food from 135˚F to 70˚F (57˚C to 21˚C) in 1 hour - Then you have 5 hours to get the food to 41˚F (5˚C) or lower

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Before cooling food, start by reducing its size: - Cut larger items into smaller pieces - Divide large containers of food into smaller containers or shallow pansSafe Methods for Cooling Food: - Place it in an ice-water bath - Stir it with an ice paddle - Place it in a blast chiller - Place it in a tumble chiller