Many foods cooked in advance in the service industry are not all used at once. Large cuts of meat, sauces, gravies, soups, and more, can all be prepared in bulk and in advance to allow for fast service as customers require them.
However, as convenient as reheating food can be, it can also be dangerous if not done right. A Texas food handlers course can bring you up to speed with the right way to reheat food, but we’ve included some basic information below, as well.
What Food Can Be Reheated?
There is almost nothing you can’t reheat in the food service industry, as long as you do so safely while being mindful of temperature control and storage.
Some foods pose more of a food poisoning risk than others, so it’s essential to keep this in mind as you’re moving different ingredients through the danger zone. In particular, rice requires your careful attention.
Rice can develop a heat-resistant bacteria called Bacillus Cereus. Therefore, when rice is reheated and consumed, this bacteria can still remain and cause food poisoning. However, you may be able to avoid this if you keep your rice cold between when you first cooked it and when you will be reheating it. Keep it stored in the fridge up until you need to cook it.
Some foods can also lose some of their texture and flavor during the reheating process, such as fish. If you’re going to be reheating fish, wrap it in foil to prevent it from going hard and to help it maintain its juices.
Reheating Food in the Stove Top
One of the best ways to reheat food for service is by placing it in a pot or pan on the stovetop. This is an especially effective method for foods like soup. Use a food thermometer to ensure the thickest part of whatever you are reheating reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
Reheating Food in the Microwave
As convenient as a microwave can be for fast cooking, it does require careful control to ensure the food quality is not affected. Stir and cover the food while rotating it throughout the reheating process to allow for even heating. Allow it to stand, and make sure the food is at least 165°F throughout.
Reheating Food in the Oven
Set the oven to a minimum temperature of 325°F and allow the food to reheat until it reaches a minimum temperature of at least 165°.
What You Shouldn’t Use to Reheat Food
The oven, stovetop, and microwave can all be effective and fast ways to reheat food for service. However, some methods aren’t suitable for this practice and may put your customers at risk of food poisoning.
While slow cookers are fine for cooking food, they are not suitable for reheating food. According to the USDA, they, along with chafing dishes and steam tables, move food too slowly through the danger zone, which is between 40°F and 140°F. Between these temperatures, bacteria is given an opportunity to multiply.
How Many Times Can You Reheat Food?
You can store most leftover cooked food in your fridge for up to four days and reheat it during this window. Remember to reheat all leftovers to at least 165° and return anything you haven’t reheated to the fridge within two hours.
Once food has been reheated, you can return any leftovers to the fridge for up to four days and reheat it again during this window. However, food quality can degrade over time, which means it’s best to only reheat the portion you need.
You may also store reheated food in the freezer, but its quality can suffer if it’s not used within three months. As you may have heard many chefs say, fresh is best.
Learn About Food Safety and Reheating With TABC Pronto
Cooking and reheating food safely is a crucial part of food safety. You can learn more about this and more by taking an online course to receive a Texas food handlers Card through TABC Pronto. The course is online and provides you with an opportunity to receive your food handlers permit in Texas. Why not enroll now?