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


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Unread 01-15-2007, 11:04 AM   #1
Kirk
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Default Time from fridge to cooker?

I know that the safe bet and the recommended strategy is to have meat go right from the fridge to the cooker. On the other hand, a lot of people let their meat sit out until the chill's off or even until it gets to room temp before cooking, especially when they're cooking beef. I have never had a problem with this but how long would consider safe for unrefridgerated meat to sit out like this?
My question stems from an argument I had with a teammate during a cookoff last year. Our chicken was prepped and ready to go into the cooker but the fire was too hot. I delayed putting the birds on the grill for about 20 minutes so the fire would have a chance to die down a bit. Including prep time it was almost 30 min from cooler to grill and my buddy was freaking out the whole time. I literally had to stand between him and the grill to keep him from putting the meat on. Now I know he was right from a safety standpoint but if we would've put the meat on at that point it would've been ruined. I refused to let all our hard work and the money we invested to compete to go "up in smoke." Like I said, I know he was right, technically speaking, but we all know that you're not going to get food poisoning from meat that's been out of the fridge for 30 minutes. I'd like to hear opinions on what y'all think is safe and what you practice day to day.
If you're at home cooking, what would you think of bringing the temp up quicker in the microwave (set on low) to minimize the time in the "danger zone"?
Thanks.
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Unread 01-15-2007, 11:08 AM   #2
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Fowl is different than beef or pork. I don't worry as much about beef and pork.
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Unread 01-15-2007, 12:36 PM   #3
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The health industry guidlines read that food stored in the danger zone for over four hours must be discarded.
So letting meat rest for a half hour before grilling is of no real concern, as long as the environment it is resting in is free from contamination.
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Unread 01-15-2007, 01:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for chiming in Joe. Where might I be able to find this info?
All I could find were statements like this one from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website ( http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets...fety/index.asp ):
"Keep Cold Food Cold
Keep meat and poultry refrigerated until ready to use. Only take out the meat and poultry that will immediately be placed on the grill."


This was from Perdue's website:
"Keep it hot or cold, not warm. Do not let raw poultry get warm for a long period of time. Keep the product in the refrigerator until needed."
Unfortunately they don't define "a long period of time."
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Unread 01-16-2007, 10:55 AM   #5
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After some research, I keep coming up with the "2 hour rule" that usually applies to cooked perishables but I've seen it refer to uncooked as well. I am still interested in your info Joe. I'd appreciate some direction on where to find it in writing so that I can put this argument to rest with my buddy once and for all. I guess I could give a call to the local health inspector too ans see what he can tell me. Thanks in advance.
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Unread 01-16-2007, 12:32 PM   #6
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Scattered thoughts:

I take the chill out with either a warm water bath, or a shot in the nuke on low.

I am never concerned leaving anything (still cold from the fridge)out for 30-60 minutes and no one ever got sick on my stuff. But anything left out is covered or wrapped. This does not mean i will leave stuff sitting in the sun at a contest, ever.

If I remove the chill however, it goes straight to the pit.

Last year, i started using blue freezer packs for alot of stuff. They are VERY handy for putting under a hotel pan while u work, or on top of the foil while stuff sits out.

Leaving a tray of marinading chicken sitting out, covered with foil with a freezer pack on top of the foil, when opened.. you will see(feel)it was well inside the safe zone. brrrrrrr.


For beef(steaks, roasts, etc).. Im no where near as concerned.. you can use the meat temp going into the pit to give your differet doness levels..

A warm steak, put on grill will cook more evenly throughout, than a cold steak which will be rarer in the center with a more well done outside. KC had some techniques where he would even go with steaks that were partially frozen.
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Unread 01-16-2007, 12:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk
After some research, I keep coming up with the "2 hour rule" that usually applies to cooked perishables but I've seen it refer to uncooked as well. I am still interested in your info Joe. I'd appreciate some direction on where to find it in writing so that I can put this argument to rest with my buddy once and for all. I guess I could give a call to the local health inspector too ans see what he can tell me. Thanks in advance.
I am pretty strict on raw food storage. I would let chicken sit out 20-30 minutes without batting an eye. An hour would start to concern me, unless it was really cold before coming out.

Plus, not that this deals with your safety question, but there is at least one certain well known and succesful BBQ author and competitor who claims to specifically let chicken come toward room temp before barbecuing for appearance reasons.

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Unread 01-17-2007, 09:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33
Scattered thoughts:

I take the chill out with either a warm water bath, or a shot in the nuke on low.

I am never concerned leaving anything (still cold from the fridge)out for 30-60 minutes and no one ever got sick on my stuff. But anything left out is covered or wrapped. This does not mean i will leave stuff sitting in the sun at a contest, ever.

If I remove the chill however, it goes straight to the pit.

Last year, i started using blue freezer packs for alot of stuff. They are VERY handy for putting under a hotel pan while u work, or on top of the foil while stuff sits out.

Leaving a tray of marinading chicken sitting out, covered with foil with a freezer pack on top of the foil, when opened.. you will see(feel)it was well inside the safe zone. brrrrrrr.


For beef(steaks, roasts, etc).. Im no where near as concerned.. you can use the meat temp going into the pit to give your differet doness levels..

A warm steak, put on grill will cook more evenly throughout, than a cold steak which will be rarer in the center with a more well done outside. KC had some techniques where he would even go with steaks that were partially frozen.
Phil, you might want to watch the warm water bath. I do it too, but I just started a Servsafe class and I know that in the book they say 70 degrees or cooler running water. Guess I'll be adding an extra day in the fridge for some of this stuff.

Anyway, I'm no expert just a guy passing on something I read.

g
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