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MilitantSquatter
07-04-2008, 07:55 PM
With all the safety issues and inspections restaurants are faced with how do pizza stores get away with leaving cooked pizzas that have cooled to room temp (or were refrigerated from the day before) under a partially enclosed glass partition or out on a counter ?

I've probably eaten hundreds of slices and in the past I've told them not to heat them up several times and luckily never got sick.

Just wondering.

SmokeInDaEye
07-04-2008, 08:25 PM
I was thinking this same thing yesterday. I noticed for a while pizza places were putting signs on the glass that said "for display only" (but they'd still serve it) but those are gone now. I try to only go to pizza places that turn food quickly to be somewhat safe but you never know.

ZBQ
07-05-2008, 05:24 AM
With all the safety issues and inspections restaurants are faced with how do pizza stores get away with leaving cooked pizzas that have cooled to room temp (or were refrigerated from the day before) under a partially enclosed glass partition or out on a counter ?

I've probably eaten hundreds of slices and in the past I've told them not to heat them up several times and luckily never got sick.

Just wondering.

In college we always said that cold pizza from the night before was the
"Breakfast of Champions"........most of the time we just threw the box in the
oven because it wouldn't fit in the fridge and then pulled it out in the
morning and munched on it on the way to class......None of us got sick....sometimes
you gotta wonder if this stuff is REALLY as awful as they make it out to be......

jpw23
07-05-2008, 10:16 AM
I just had a slice for breakfast.......it had been on the kitchen table all night in the box:biggrin:

parrothead
07-05-2008, 11:08 AM
I have never seen such a thing. If selling by the slice around here it is kept in a controlled temperature and humidity invironment until sold.

I can't believe that any health department in this country would allow that.

MilitantSquatter
07-05-2008, 11:26 AM
I have never seen such a thing. If selling by the slice around here it is kept in a controlled temperature and humidity invironment until sold.

I can't believe that any health department in this country would allow that.

I don't recall seeing one place in NY (probably hundreds if not thousands) with anything like you described in your area. Believe it or not, I think most areound here think that as long as it's sitting out it's fresh (even with the hardened cheese) and if taken from cold to oven it is old.

Plain slices (neopolitan & sicilian) typically go quickly during peak hours but final slices can sit out a while. Anything else like specialty topping slices (white pizza, marsala, ziti or veggie toppings etc or things like calzones, sausage/chicken rolls, stromboli, pinwheels etc. can sit there all day and may potentially be from the day before as well.

baughman
07-05-2008, 12:20 PM
Managed 12 years in pizza never seen this.

comes down to the danger zone 45degrees to 140degrees. As long as it is out of that zone food should be ok.

Professor Salt
07-05-2008, 01:33 PM
I believe there's a four hour window where food can be held "safely" in the danger zone before being rethermed above 165F, or thrown out.

If a health department inspector comes, how can they prove it was left at room temp for more than 4 hours? It seems to me a difficult thing to cite.

Forney
07-05-2008, 01:38 PM
In college we always said that cold pizza from the night before was the
"Breakfast of Champions"........most of the time we just threw the box in the
oven because it wouldn't fit in the fridge and then pulled it out in the
morning and munched on it on the way to class......None of us got sick....sometimes
you gotta wonder if this stuff is REALLY as awful as they make it out to be......

Left over pizza is my "Breakfast of Champions"!!

parrothead
07-05-2008, 02:19 PM
I believe there's a four hour window where food can be held "safely" in the danger zone before being rethermed above 165F, or thrown out.

If a health department inspector comes, how can they prove it was left at room temp for more than 4 hours? It seems to me a difficult thing to cite.

You make a very valid point.

Actually only 2 hours before it must get below 70. Then another 4 to below 40.

I guess I can see it not being a problem. As long as they are selling pizza and moving through product. OK, I'll have one of those slices as long as it looks like one of the fresh ones. Yumms.

And I love cold pizza in the morning.

MilitantSquatter
07-05-2008, 02:56 PM
I guess that two hour rule makes sense along with the fact that it's not proveable unless the inspector is checking without being noticed over several hours.

I just got back from one of the local spots where I took my daughter for lunch this afternoon.

... I counted 18 different styles of pizzas (all whole pies) in the display window. Since yesterday was a holiday, I think most were made fresh this morning. I'm sure a good % of them will still be there only partially sold before they close tonight around 10-11 PM and some of them will be back tomorrow.

For the record, we stuck with the plain pizza that was still hot.

parrothead
07-05-2008, 07:55 PM
I guess that two hour rule makes sense along with the fact that it's not proveable unless the inspector is checking without being noticed over several hours.


I do know for a fact that my county has "secret shoppers" that do spot checks for the health department. I don't believe that it is a paid position. They probably can turn in the receipt maybe for reimbursement, that would be all.

Anywho, it would be easy if there were a suspected problem to get one of these people to hang out there for a bit and stop in a couple of times.

River City Smokehouse
07-06-2008, 07:49 AM
I cannot count the pizza I've eaten in the past 30+ years that has sat out over night in the box on the kitchen table. Not counting the warm stale beer the was still half full sitting next to that. Oh yeah, and the roach in the ash tray......I'll stop there!:cool::biggrin:

ZILLA
07-06-2008, 08:46 AM
I ate pizza like that for 25 years until I moved off the Island. Never had a problem. There really isn't anything to generate bacteria it seems to me. Once it's cooked it'll hold a long time at room temp unless bacteria are introduced. Besides I think Americans have become too paranoid about this stuff. Some scientists even think we're becoming weak with all of the "Ultra Cleanliness" we practice. It's just not necessary, the rest of the world just eats. The NY pizza scene has it right.

Pitbull
07-06-2008, 09:33 AM
[quote=ZILLA;679673] Besides I think Americans have become too paranoid about this stuff. Some scientists even think we're becoming weak with all of the "Ultra Cleanliness" we practice. quote]


I agree completely. I have said for a long time that a sickly generation is in the process of being raised. Kids needs some germs every now and then the build immunities. A hand full of dirt wouldn't hurt every now and then either. :mrgreen:

I'm a moning after pizza eater too.:rolleyes:

JohnMcD348
07-06-2008, 09:46 AM
I know, it drives me nuts to see people go overboard on cleanliness and antibacteiral EVERYTHING. The other day, I actually saw a box of Anitbacterial Q-tips. QTIPS!!! WTF?

When I was in the military I was part of a group that studied things and it was seen the the influx of antibacterails has pretty much kept in pace with the drastic increase with reistant stains. It takes alot more for a bacteria to get to us with all the hand gels and soaps and sprays we use now so that when it does actually get to us, it's so strong that it can overtake our own immune system much easier than it used to.

When I was in Nursing school a few years ago, I actually did an assignment on a patient I was introduced to who was given up for dead due to his infection. The hospital had used every kind of possible antibiotic for therapy on him and no matter what they used, he got worse. He was given up for dead and the family decided to do palitive care for him in his last days. once the antibiotics were stopped, the systemic infection actually resolved. Come to discover, whatever it was that had taken over this mans body was actually thriving on the medication taht was given to him to cure him. I spoke to him about 2 weeks after the medications had been stopped. He was fine and well only a little weak after his experience, still at the hospital whiel the hospital and CDC were doing workups on him.

When my son was born, my wife wouldn't let him go outside for nearly the first month until after he was Baptised. The only trips he saw outside were for the car trips to and from teh Dr's for his checkups. I was (very mad about this) to say the least. But, since my MIL was there also, helping I was systematically overuled on everything. It took awhile and a couple of incidents during that time for them to realize who was going to be incharge when it came down to it. nearly 5 years later, he's doing alright.

BigBarry
07-07-2008, 11:14 AM
Since joining the Brethren and getting into competition BBQ, I have become much more aware of food handling procedures and issues.

I take some things with a grain or two of salt but there are some basics rules that really make sense.

The entire anti-bacterial movement is going to turn our future generations into sickly worry-warts. They need to play in the dirt and mud like we did!

As for the pizza thing - I also had this revelation when I was at a pizza place on Thursday. A dozen or so pies with variying toppings. Most looked dry and that means time at room temp - 70+ - for a LONG time. The pizzas are also stored in a rack out of site.

I know I have eaten many old pizzas in my time and had not ill-effects. Who knows.

BBQ_MAFIA
07-07-2008, 12:16 PM
I've eaten a ton of pizza from vendors that have had the pies on the counter for long periods and have never gotten sick. Until now I've never really thought about it.

I have to say that this thread does have me thinking a bit. Today I passed on the pizza.

MAsQue
07-08-2008, 12:19 PM
With all the cold pizza I've eaten over the years, I never gave this much thought, but now that you've got me thinking about it...

Bacteria doesn't grow the same in all media. The pizza crust is hard baked bread and fairly dry, I wouldn't expect bacteria to grow in that any faster than it would grow in the loaf of bread sitting on top of my fridge. Fungus is likely to get there first, and that only if moisture is available. That would leave only the toppings. Tomatoes are pretty acidic and will retard bacterial growth in anything they're a part of. Cheese seems to be pretty resistant, too. Meat toppings I would tend to be leery of, unless it was pepperoni or something similar.

People have been storing food for thousands of years without benefit of modern refrigeration. The same methods of preparing food that worked then should still work now: smoking, drying, pickling, etc. We know more; we can be safer; we don't have to be nuts about it.

Sledneck
07-08-2008, 12:58 PM
With all the cold pizza I've eaten over the years, I never gave this much thought, but now that you've got me thinking about it...

Bacteria doesn't grow the same in all media. The pizza crust is hard baked bread and fairly dry, I wouldn't expect bacteria to grow in that any faster than it would grow in the loaf of bread sitting on top of my fridge. Fungus is likely to get there first, and that only if moisture is available. That would leave only the toppings. Tomatoes are pretty acidic and will retard bacterial growth in anything they're a part of. Cheese seems to be pretty resistant, too. Meat toppings I would tend to be leery of, unless it was pepperoni or something similar.

People have been storing food for thousands of years without benefit of modern refrigeration. The same methods of preparing food that worked then should still work now: smoking, drying, pickling, etc. We know more; we can be safer; we don't have to be nuts about it.Bravo!!!! Well put!!!1:eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eu sa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eu sa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap

afreemaniii
07-09-2008, 08:19 AM
I cannot count the pizza I've eaten in the past 30+ years that has sat out over night in the box on the kitchen table. Not counting the warm stale beer the was still half full sitting next to that. Oh yeah, and the roach in the ash tray......I'll stop there!:cool::biggrin:

Hell yeah, cold pizza and warm beer, the breakfast of champions.

afreemaniii
07-09-2008, 08:22 AM
I guess that two hour rule makes sense along with the fact that it's not proveable unless the inspector is checking without being noticed over several hours.

I just got back from one of the local spots where I took my daughter for lunch this afternoon.

... I counted 18 different styles of pizzas (all whole pies) in the display window. Since yesterday was a holiday, I think most were made fresh this morning. I'm sure a good % of them will still be there only partially sold before they close tonight around 10-11 PM and some of them will be back tomorrow.

For the record, we stuck with the plain pizza that was still hot.

The best pizza here in Madison is served like this as well. A display case with 6-10 pies sitting there and you just pick what you want. They always throw it back in the overn for a few minutes and it always comes out hot and delicious.

Big George's BBQ
07-09-2008, 10:42 AM
I love cold pizza with some hot pepper flakes in the AM with my coffee. The only think that I do not like about individually sliced pizza in the stores is that the cheese does not seem to melt right. Don't have to worry about that with cold pizza

Jorge
07-09-2008, 10:54 AM
People have been storing food for thousands of years without benefit of modern refrigeration. The same methods of preparing food that worked then should still work now: smoking, drying, pickling, etc. We know more; we can be safer; we don't have to be nuts about it.

I tend to agree, but....with the misuse of antibiotics many organisms have become stronger. I come close to blowing a gasket every time some relative mentions that they have saved some antibiotics for when they 'need them'.

Jax191
07-09-2008, 09:46 PM
I've seen several pizza places do this, and even delievered pizza for one that did the same. No strict rules from what I see (esp. not where I worked) more of a loose idea of "it's not fresh so it won't taste good".

Divemaster
07-10-2008, 03:02 PM
I tend to agree, but....with the misuse of antibiotics many organisms have become stronger. I come close to blowing a gasket every time some relative mentions that they have saved some antibiotics for when they 'need them'.
Yea, I've got a neighbor that saved hers from broncitis.... She is still hacking up a lung....

ams14
07-11-2008, 11:29 AM
Keeping kids ultra-germ free can negatively impact their resistance. According to National Geographic, the best way to avoid developing allergies is to grow up living with a pig in your house.

At a recent hotel stay I woke up the next morning and had a few slices of meat lovers pizza that had spent the night in the box on the table. I did pause for thought for a brief second before eating it. I think most pizza meat is so salty that it is almost cured... pepperoni and what passes for sausage.

At least that's the story I'm going with... eating cold unrefridgerated pizza is kind of like the 3-second rule... probably a bad idea but adults have been getting away with it for years.

Jorge
07-11-2008, 11:34 AM
At least that's the story I'm going with... eating cold unrefridgerated pizza is kind of like the 3-second rule... probably a bad idea but adults have been getting away with it for years.

I can remember covering a pie with lots of jalapenos on top with foil overnight. The next morning I found lots of little holes where the peppers and burned holes in the foil. Somehow it made me feel better about eating it.:eek:

HolySmoke
07-11-2008, 11:40 AM
Keeping kids ultra-germ free can negatively impact their resistance. According to National Geographic, the best way to avoid developing allergies is to grow up living with a pig in your house.

At a recent hotel stay I woke up the next morning and had a few slices of meat lovers pizza that had spent the night in the box on the table. I did pause for thought for a brief second before eating it. I think most pizza meat is so salty that it is almost cured... pepperoni and what passes for sausage.

At least that's the story I'm going with... eating cold unrefridgerated pizza is kind of like the 3-second rule... probably a bad idea but adults have been getting away with it for years.

My kids would love a pig around the house, but i think it would only really only last about a day until i set my butcher table & some cutting implements, & burn down some coals for the pit....

MRI_Guy
07-11-2008, 09:15 PM
Hell yeah, cold pizza and warm beer, the breakfast of champions.
Quoted for truth........

dodgeramsst2003
07-15-2008, 08:30 PM
Just my two cents worth, but having worked in a pizzeria in HS I'll throw it out there anyways. Most of the toppings on the pizza, cheese included have so many preservatives in them, that nothing can grow on them. The sauce has a PH level that also doesn't allow anything to grow in it. ( this is why most pizza stores are allowed to leave it on the counter unrefrigerated). That only leaves the "fresh" vegetables and the dough. The vegetables will be ok for a day or so, and the dough is no different than the bread you buy at the store. I have seen some things take place and thought no way that is safe to eat, but nobody got sick.

Chris

chobint
08-09-2010, 09:58 PM
I've heard that pizza, due to the resilience of its ingredients, is subject to less strict food laws... so sayeth the grape vine. As the previous poster has mentioned... bread does not spoil for many days (around a week) and the rest of the ingredients are laden with salt...

To be honest though... most pizza will dry out to an unacceptably low level once left out for more than one night.

Carbon
08-10-2010, 01:02 PM
Most of the toppings on the pizza, cheese included have so many preservatives in them, that nothing can grow on them.

Same goes with fast food french fries. You can still eat McDonald's french fries, unrefrigerated, a year later...

parrothead
08-10-2010, 09:03 PM
Speculation!!!! On all points. No food is subject to lesser food laws.

HandsomeSwede
08-12-2010, 08:40 PM
Speculation!!!! On all points. No food is subject to lesser food laws.

Thank you. Nail hit on head.

Regardless of what side you take in the whole "germs are good/bad" debate the question posed was how are pizza shops allowed to let food stand out at room temp for multiple hours.

Ingredients have nothing to do with it, either way what you are talking about is a cooked, prepared food product that is heated and then held at the temperature where bacteria growth begins, according to all our friendly local HDs.

If I'm catering and an HD inspector comes over, sees that I have two trays of pork just hanging out with no refrigeration I'm done. Doesn't matter what my excuse is: "Oh, it's only been sitting there an hour it's fine." Yeah right. Try that at your next event.

So is there a good answer? I had never thought of this before but now it seems to me to be very much the exception to the rule.

My thought now is: why go to all the trouble and cost as a vendor to hold BBQ at the required temps at all times when I can just roll in and serve day old pizza off a card table?

HandsomeSwede
08-12-2010, 09:36 PM
Well, I found the answer. And I guess Parrothead that some food is subject to lesser food laws. Whoda thunk?

Now, this is for New York state, but it is derived from Federal law.

Health Code
81.09 currently specifies a range of required holding temperatures for all potentially hazardous
foods. However, there are several processed foods, including, most commonly, sushi rice,
homemade (i.e., not commercially manufactured) yogurt and garlic-infused oil, hanging poultry
in Asian establishments, cooked pizza and related baked products (calzones), for which food
service establishments have requested that the Department modify applicable Health Code
temperature holding requirements, since such temperature requirements apparently adversely
affect the palatability of such foods.

The USFDA 2001 Model Food Code includes standards and justification for “Time as a Public Health Control.” The FDA concludes that four hours holding of some ready-to-eat (“RTE”) potentially hazardous foods (“PHF”) within a specific range of ambient temperatures is sufficient in specific circumstances to prevent toxin formation and does not contribute to unacceptable bacterial growth. See, Model Food Code, 2001, Annex 3, 3-501.19.

Using time alone as a public health control means that when properly documented and
implemented, RTE PHF may be offered for sale after being held at room temperature for up to
four hours. All such foods must be properly cooked or cooled before they are held for such a
four-hour period.

Each RTE PHF item must be clearly labeled with the date and time that identify when the food is removed from safe temperatures. RTE PHF that is maintained by using time, as a public health control must be served or discarded within four hours of removal from safe temperatures. No RTE PHF that is held using time as a public health control is to be reused.

Here is the part that would apply to BBQ vendors and their limits on being able to use the Time Holding method only:

(2) Time shall not be used as a means of public health control in preparation and holding
of ready-to-eat potentially hazardous foods (i) sold by mobile food vendors; (ii) in food vending machines; (iii) at temporary street fairs operating in accordance with a permit issued pursuant to Article 88 of this Code; and (iv) in salad bars. (3) Time shall not be used as a means of public health control in preparation and holding of the following potentially hazardous foods: (i) any foods containing ground or chopped (comminuted) meats; (ii) raw foods such as meats, fish or molluscan shellfish; and (iii) opened or packaged smoked or vacuum-packed food products.