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Food safety, inventory turns, and storage

Milhouse

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In my time spent around the world, it seems that everyone has different standards for food storage and safety. In some places, mayonnaise is a table condiment left out without refrigeration. Other places use different temperatures for refrigeration. So on and so forth. Actually now that I think about it, I don't even have thermometers in my fridge and freezer, so I have no idea if they are at appropriate temperatures. Of course, I also don't know what appropriate temperatures are.

When I was younger, I went shopping once a week. I ended up buying lots of frozen foods because fresh produce would never last a whole week. Now I buy fresh stuff more regularly, but it is a bit of a hassle to go shopping 3 or 4 times a week.

So, there are a number of people here with good knowledge about restaurants and food and whatnot. Does anyone have any books or other resources to learn about shelf lives of food, food storage and safety, etc? I suppose menu planning is also important to reduce food waste. But spoilage is a big problem.
 

kwilkinson

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If you can find a copy of ServSafe Coursebook, 5th Edition (from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation), you should be able to find most of what you need. On the back of my book, it says that textbooks, online training, videos/DVDs, etc are available on www.nraef.org. This book is really easy to read and understand, simple, and straightforward. I took the class 3 months ago when the book was the 4th edition, and they've recently put out the 5th. Anyway, I found this book very helpful, and using just this book I was able to get my sanitation license from the state.


Edit: This information is only valid in the US. Like you say, other countries have different standards and evaluations.
 

Milhouse

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Amazon has it. I just browsed the excerpt they have, and learned a lot. Apparently, in a fridge, food should be stored in different areas. The book says fish should be stored near the top, with whole cuts of beef and pork under that, etc. It also had the proper temps for fridges and freezers listed.

Thanks.
 

matadorpoeta

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i've always been paranoid about leaving dairy products unrefrigerated, even for a few minutes, but i know people who will leave milk out for hours. mankind has only had refrigerators for about 80 years, and many people in the world still don't have them, so many of our fears about leaving things out are likely unwarranted.
 

jpeirpont

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Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
i've always been paranoid about leaving dairy products unrefrigerated, even for a few minutes, but i know people who will leave milk out for hours. mankind has only had refrigerators for about 80 years, and many people in the world still don't have them, so many of our fears about leaving things out are likely unwarranted.

My friend who was born in Africa and raised in France, say American's are peculiar in regards to dairy and always wanted it refrigerated. I've left butter out over night but warm milk isn't very good.
 

matadorpoeta

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Originally Posted by jpeirpont
My friend who was born in Africa and raised in France, say American's are peculiar in regards to dairy and always wanted it refrigerated. I've left butter out over night but warm milk isn't very good.

i'll throw a tantrum when my relatives leave a carton of milk out for 30 seconds, but i was like that before i moved to this country, so i don't know where i got it from.

think about the process of making butter, selling it, and serving it, 100 years go. no refrigerators.
 

otc

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Butter doesn't have to be refridgerated...you just can't keep the room-temp sticks forever (but its a lot easier to use them up and spread them on bread when they are soft)
 

matadorpoeta

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Originally Posted by otc
Butter doesn't have to be refridgerated...you just can't keep the room-temp sticks forever (but its a lot easier to use them up and spread them on bread when they are soft)

but it's refrigerated when you buy it, so i assume it's transported from the maker to the store that way as well. you couldn't do that 100 years ago.

what about eggs? why are they refrigerated at the store?
 

Milhouse

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To really shock the US folks here, I was in a foreign country and getting a home cooked meal. The cook taste tested some RAW CHICKEN to make sure the seasoning and marinade was correct.

Absolutely no ill effects. Of course, if I tried something like that, I'd be dead. Did anyone see the Anthony Bourdain "No Reservations" in Japan where he had chicken that was practically raw?

It is about halfway through that clip.
 

matadorpoeta

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Originally Posted by Milhouse
To really shock the US folks here, I was in a foreign country and getting a home cooked meal. The cook taste tested some RAW CHICKEN to make sure the seasoning and marinade was correct.

Absolutely no ill effects. Of course, if I tried something like that, I'd be dead. Did anyone see the Anthony Bourdain "No Reservations" in Japan where he had chicken that was practically raw?

It is about halfway through that clip.


i know a japanese man who eats his beef blood rare. he basically heats it up without cooking it.
 

Milhouse

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Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
i know a japanese man who eats his beef blood rare. he basically heats it up without cooking it.

I've had raw beef before. There are any number of raw beef dishes (tartare, carpaccio, etc). Good beef properly stored isn't really too risky unless it is ground.

raw chicken -> salmonella
 

crazyquik

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Every bottle of ketchup I've read says to keep refridgerated, but a lot of restuarants (all casual dining, diners, and fast food) keep it unrefridgerated
 

samblau

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My one area of mderate expertise is food safety and regulation from a legal perspective, not scientific. If you want to know about how we regulate gentically modified products for use in food as opposed to Europe I am your guy. If you have access to a research site or law library you can find my article, "Splitting Genes: The Future of Genetically Modified Organisms in the Wake of the WTO/Cartagena Standoff", Penn State Environmental Law Review, (16 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 367). I can e-mail a copy as well. It is fairly (very!) boring, but if you are interested PM or e-mail me.
 

globetrotter

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when I was visiting my wife's family in colombia the first time, I went looking in the kitchen at night for a trash can, under the sink. I found an uncovered bowl with marinating beef in it, that was going to be dinner the next night. I ahve to say, it severaly curtailed what I was willing to eat at there house from then on.


while we have only had refridgeration for about 80 years, we have to remember that life expectacy has rocketed in that time, and childhood mortallity has plumited. so I wouldn't be rushing to eat stuff like that too quickly.

that said, I eat raw beef, and will eat on the street in most countries around the world.
 

cheessus

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I remember in France and Spain, they tend to cook chicken and pork rare and it was awesome. Let's bet honest though, anything well-done doesn't taste good.
 

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