Only two weeks into culinary school and we’ve already learned so much!

The first thing you need to know before handling food is safety and sanitation. It’s a life or death matter and the first and foremost important step of food preparation. In class we’ve been studying Chemical, Biological and Physical contaminants so that we can obtain the Managers Level Food Handlers Certification through state testing. I’m learning so much about bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that it makes me want to be bubble boy and get nutrients through a feeding tube… but then I remember how good bacon is.

“We know God loves us because we got bacon.” -Chef Instructor

The most important things I’ve learned:

  • High protein foods as well as mildly acidic foods grow bacteria rapidly.
  • Cooling food from 135F to 41F must be done within 6 hours. In the first two hours the food must cool down to 70F and in the remaining 4 hours food must chill down to 41F otherwise the food has spoiled and is not safe to eat.
  • Slow cooling causes bacterial spores to multiply. Freezing and Cooking do not kill spores.
  • Temperature danger zone for bacteria growth is 41-135. That means the second it leaves the fridge bacteria is growing rapidly.
  • Food can only be in temp danger zone for 4 hours before it causes foodborne illness.
  • When reheating foods they must be heated at a higher temperature than originally cooked at to kill the existing bacteria.
  • Botox used for cosmetic procedures is from the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum Toxin. Botulinum toxin (Botox) can cause botulism, a serious and life-threatening illness in humans and animals.  It’s an anaerobe, so it grows without air, and can also be found in honey or canned foods.

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