Saturday, October 24, 2015

The 10 Commandments for Sous Vide Cooking



The way we cook our food is as important as the way we prepare and store it. Inadequate cooking is a common cause of food poisoning. Some people are more at risk from food poisoning than others. Vulnerable groups include pregnant women, young children, the elderly and anyone with an illness. Special care should be taken when preparing, cooking, serving and storing food for these groups.

Learn "sous vide cook" tips for preventing food poisoning. Take the guesswork out of cooking meat, poultry, seafood, vegetable and other dishes. Just follow these simple guidelines and you will be in safe hands.

1) The minimum acceptable sous vide cooking temperature is 55°C for all meats, except poultry for which the minimum acceptable sous vide cooking temperature is 60°C. 

2) Food grade sous vide pouches (polyethylene, polypropylene) must be used to package foods. 

3) Sous vide cooking below 55°C must not exceed a period of 4 hours. Foods held at temperatures below 55°C for longer than 4 hours must be discarded. 

4) The maximum storage time for refrigerated raw (un-pasteurized) sous vide pouched food is 2 days. All sous vide pouched foods stored under refrigeration must be labeled with date, time, discard date and identity. 

5) Seafood sous vide style cooking that does not meet a 6.5-log10 reduction of bacteria requires an additional control of freezing for parasite destruction. 

6) Vacuum packaging equipment should be set to deliver enough pressure that sous vide pouches do not float – machines should be able to deliver 90 to 95% pressure. 

7) Internal digital probe tip thermometers accurate to ±0.1°C must be used to monitor temperatures. How to take the temperature of foods; just use a needle type probe tip-- digital thermometer. Apply a piece of cell foam tape to the sous vide pouch where the probe thermometer will be inserted. This will prevent the vacuum from being lost in the pouch, and prevent any leakage when the probe thermometer is inserted and removed. Stick the thermometer into the interior of the food at its thickest point. Thermometers that will be used in restaurant or commercial condition should be calibrated, traceable, and certified. 

8) Sous vide pasteurized foods must be used within 3 days of refrigerated storage. The food safety standard maximum storage time for refrigerated fully pasteurized sous vide pouched food is 7 days. 

9) The optimal cooling rate for sous vide pouched foods after pasteurization is to bring foods to below 3°C within 2 hours using a 50:50 ice water slurry. Food safety standards for cooling rates are to bring foods to below 4°C within 6 hours (2 hours from 60°C to 20°C and 4 hours from 20°C to less than 4°C). Due to the risk of botulinum in vacuum packaged foods, the food safety standard must be further reduced to cool and store at a minimum of 3.3°C. 

10) All sous vide pouched foods must be stored in the refrigerator, at temperatures of 3°C and lower (using ice or equivalent). The food safety standard maximum acceptable refrigeration temperature for sous vide packaged foods is 3.3°C. 

Related Blog Post: Be a Sous-Vide Jedi Master! Perfect the art and science of sous vide cooking. Learn about the books that every padawan should read. Get back to the source... NOW, 9 Best Cookbooks for Sous Vide Cooking Technique.


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