In our research into upcoming MN food code changes, we’ve noted a new addition; non-continuous cooking. This means that as long as certain parameters are met, you can halt the cooking process for certain items and finish at a later time. Many risks exist when cooking is halted, so this week we’d like to discuss how to safely prepare food using this method.
A Non-Continuous Cooking Food Safety Training Guide
We must first point out that in order to prepare raw animal foods using a non-continuous cooking method, you must have a well-documented written procedure and obtain approval from your local health department. You should provide safe food training to your staff on this process and develop written instructions that include the following information:
- Initial Cooking Time
- Cooling Method
- Storing Procedure
- Reheating Method
If you do not plan on cooking raw animal product all the way to the appropriate temperature, you can only halt the process if the initial cooking time is under 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, you must continue the cooking process until an acceptable internal temperature has been reached.
Once you halt the cooking process, you must bring the internal temperature down to 41-degrees as soon as possible. This will prevent undercooked meat product from resting at temperatures known to speed up the growth of potentially dangerous bacteria. Once cooled, the par-cooked product must remain under proper refrigeration.
Finally, when it comes time to finish the cooking process, remember that your product must be fully cooked to the proper temperature.
It’s important to stress and repeat that if you plan on using this method for any raw animal product, you must have well-documented plan and regulatory approval.
Once this new MN food code rule goes into effect, we’ll monitor enforcement and provide more food safe training on this topic in the future. How do you feel about the allowance for non-continuous cooking?