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Food Handling General Discussion General and open discussion for food handling and safety.


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Unread 05-23-2006, 01:30 PM   #1
kcquer
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Default Question about utensils?

Hey Joe, I was grilling some chicken breasts a few nights ago, and got to wondering about the tongs I was using. I always swap them out for clean ones at some point mid cook so I'm not using tongs with raw food cooties on them to plate up my food when its done.

What does "the book" say about when is the proper time to swap out utensils you use during the cook?
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Unread 05-23-2006, 01:56 PM   #2
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I believe the "Book" says somthing about utensils and cutting boards and other food surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized every four hours.

Of course, common sense should prevail here. You know that you should never use any equipment that was used in prep for food that is now cooked.
This goes for tongs, cutting boards, pans or plates used to carry the meat out in etc.

Also since summer is here and the "Flying Maggots" are out, I would change or wash tongs as often as you see fit.

Keeping a five gallon bucket of water with a very, very, small amount of bleach in your cooking area isn't a bad idea. You can place your tongs in that during the cook.

HIG suggests fifty parts per million as a "Sanitation" solution when using bleach. For home use I would probably use less.

Great question!

Joe
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Unread 05-23-2006, 02:38 PM   #3
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Wow, that is a good question, and something that I never thought about.

Thanks! I just changed one thing that I do when I cook thanks to this place.
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Unread 05-23-2006, 02:56 PM   #4
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Good question! I usually wash my tongs/ spatula/ tray/ sharpened stick everytime I go inside for something. It's a habit I've gotten into that makes me feel a lot cleaner and safer.
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Unread 05-23-2006, 06:52 PM   #5
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I use color coded cutting boards, perhaps I am going to use color coded tongs (raw meat, in between meat and done meat tongs). I still will wash frequently!
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Unread 05-23-2006, 07:12 PM   #6
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I've got 5 pair of tongs that I keep in the refrigerator out in the cooking area. Use a fresh one every hour or so and then they get washed. They are a different color than the ones kept in the house so my tools don't "migrate". I also do something like BBS. Plastic cutting boards for raw meat, wood for cooked meat.
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Unread 05-23-2006, 07:53 PM   #7
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Good stuff guys!
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Unread 05-23-2006, 09:46 PM   #8
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I agree... Great question !!! I thought about this alot too, primarily when cooking chicken on a grill... I'll swap out tongs or whatever utensil 2-3 times during a cook. Same with when I scramble an egg in a bowl and then use that utensil to scramble it in a hot pan until done.

Chicken and pork scare me...I'll flip a hamburger or a steak etc. with the same utensil from start to finish..

I'll need to re-think that strategy to extend to all meats

Thanks !.
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Unread 05-23-2006, 10:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaminQ
Good question! I usually wash my tongs/ spatula/ tray/ sharpened stick everytime I go inside for something. It's a habit I've gotten into that makes me feel a lot cleaner and safer.
That's pretty much what I do, or when I'm coming and going alot, I'll just toss everytihing into one side of the sink filled with hot soapy ater with a touch of bleach in it. Then when I get the chance I wash everything at once and have it ready by the time the food starts to get about half way there.
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Unread 05-23-2006, 10:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Chicken and pork scare me...I'll flip a hamburger or a steak etc. with the same utensil from start to finish..
Vinny, I'm not as concerned with beef usually either, and I've kinda gotten over the trichinosis(sp?) fears my Mom instilled in me at an early age, but chicken is the one that always keeps me on my toes.

When I grill stuff, I almost always start off with a searing step, then go to indirect heat to finish stuff off. When I go to indirect heat is when I usually swap utensils, I figure the cooties on the outside of the meat have been killed off by the direct heat.
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Unread 05-24-2006, 01:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqjoe
I believe the "Book" says somthing about utensils and cutting boards and other food surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized every four hours.

Of course, common sense should prevail here. You know that you should never use any equipment that was used in prep for food that is now cooked.
This goes for tongs, cutting boards, pans or plates used to carry the meat out in etc.

Also since summer is here and the "Flying Maggots" are out, I would change or wash tongs as often as you see fit.

Keeping a five gallon bucket of water with a very, very, small amount of bleach in your cooking area isn't a bad idea. You can place your tongs in that during the cook.

HIG suggests fifty parts per million as a "Sanitation" solution when using bleach. For home use I would probably use less.

Great question!

Joe
Rulebook here (Canada) says 100mg / 1 litre. My math is not too good, but I think that's more than 50 ppm. The inspectors have test kits to check your sanitizing solution during a spot inspection.
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Unread 05-24-2006, 01:52 PM   #12
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If anyone is seriously interested, I can order some of these test kits through my supplier and send them out( My cost+ postage). It's a tube with 100 strips of litmus paper with a graph on the side.
I can't remember the cost, it's not much, but I can check on it.
PM me
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Unread 05-24-2006, 04:16 PM   #13
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Just as an aside. Back when we had the cafe, and after that when I bartended, we had these little single use packets that you put in the second or third sink, don't remember. They were called "sani-clean" or something like that. The inspector just loved them.
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Unread 05-26-2006, 07:00 AM   #14
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I usually take my tongs and set them (the tong part) over the coals for a minute or two. So they get hot. The tongs temperature rises seriously and should post no health issues. If the cooked meat is only going to 160, my tong exposure to 4-500 degree's should take care of the creepy crawlies. Scott
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Unread 05-28-2006, 10:12 PM   #15
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Wow, Im glad to read that there are at least a few guys more careful than me. I use a long fork to apply the boobs to the grill from the marinade zip-lock bag. Then I use the same fork to make the first flip. After that I use my tongs from then on because I "assume" the outside is cooked. Great thread.
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