Did you know that a major cause of food borne illness in the US is improperly cooling your food? What that means is that once your done making your rice or your chili you can’t just pop the hot food into the fridge. Putting the hot food into the fridge creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Bacteria grows when food is warm, not hot and not cold but right in the sweet spot, similar to the temperatures in which people are comfortable, which also means that it is not a good idea to leave it sitting out at room temperature to cool down either. So if you can’t put it in the fridge and you can leave it sitting out then what can you do?
Well if you’re like me, you probably don’t have an extra $25,000 sitting around to spend on expensive commercial kitchen equipment that you probably don’t have the space for anyways. Fortunately, there is a much easier and safe way to cool down the food before you put it into the fridge, just follow these simple steps using the things you already have.
1st If possible divide the food in to multiple smaller pans. Metal is preferable but plastic is good too.
2nd Fill a larger pan with ice and just a bit of water
3rd Put pans of food into ice and let sit while you clean up (no more than 2 hours)
4th When food is cooler than room temperature (70 degrees) then you can put it safely into fridge.