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The process of lowering the temperature of a food that was just cooked to a temperature 40 degrees F (4.4 degrees C) or less in a short period of time. The purpose of the quick-chill process is to prevent foodborne illness by shortening the time in which bacteria can grow. The danger zone in which bacteria will grow the most rapidly is between 140 degrees F and 40 degrees F, so this is the temperature range in which it is most critical to speed up the cooling process.
The food can be cooled using several methods, which method is used will depend on the type of food being cooled and what type of chilling units you have access to. Some of the proper cooling methods are: reducing food mass, which allows the smaller pieces to cool faster; using shallow pans and filling no more than two inches deep will allow heat to escape faster, allowing food to cool faster; using an ice water bath by filling a sink or container with ice and a small amount of water and then placing the container of food in the bath will quickly cool the food; for foods such as soups, modify the recipe so that you cook with less water or liquid than what is called for and then at the end of preparation add ice to start the cooling process; using an advanced technology quick-chill unit especially designed to cool foods quickly and properly.
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