Last updated 6/12/2012 1:21:25 AM. Recipe ID 53622. Report a problem with this recipe.
Title: Sandwich safety
Categories: Info, Sandwiches
Yield: 1 Tip
Few lunch boxes, school lockers, or backpacks are refrigerated, so
it's important for the sandwich make to know a bit about food safety
and food spoilage. The two most important principles are keeping
temperatures cool and avoiding cross-contamination.
To minimize the growth of bacteria and other organisms that can cause
food spoilage or food-borne illness, remember the basic formula
4-40-140: Perishable foods should spend no more than 4 hours at
temperature between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. (Higher
temperatures kill spoilage organisms, and lower temperatures keep
them from growing.) By the end of four hours, bacteria may have
multiplied to unsafe levels. the effect is cumulative, so food that
has sat out at room temperature for two hours and then been returned
to the refrigerator has only another two hours of room temperature
shelf life left unless it has been cooked again.
What are perishable foods? Basically, those which are high in
protein and moisture but low in acid, salt, or sugar (all of these
are preservatives). Highly salted or dry-cured meats, such as
prosciutto or dry salami, and most cheeses can stand room temperature
much better than, say, home-cooked turkey breast or egg salad,
Incidentally, mayonnaise has gotten a bad rap in terms of spoilage.
Many cooks have an extreme fear of putting mayonnaise into sandwiches
that will be out of refrigeration for more than a matter of minutes,
fearing that it will spoil quickly. In fact, commercial mayonnaise
contains enough vinegar to prevent spoilage for hours. (This is not
necessarily true of homemade mayonnaise.) The meat will probably
spoil sooner than the mayonnaise. In any case, observe the four hour
rule and you should be safe.
In practical terms, a sandwich made in the morning from properly
stored ingredients and taken to school or work should be fine at noon
~ but it is suspect by midafternoon.
The other principle to remember in sandwich making (as in all
cooking) is to avoid cross-contamination, that is, reinfecting cooked
foods with bacteria from raw foods (mostly meats). Prevention is
simple. Tools, hands, and surfaces used for handling raw meats need
to be thoroughly washed before being used for any food that will not
be cooked. Most delicatessens do not sell raw meats, but if they do,
they should have separate handling areas (including slicers, if
appropriate) for raw and cooked items.
This information is from THE ART OF THE SANDWICH by Jay Harlow.
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