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Food safety – hot handling

Food poisoning can occur if not held at the right temperature

Bain-Maries and Hot Holding units are designed to keep food hot not to heat food up.

• Ensure Bain-Marie is clean and preheated before use.
• Ensure food is preheated to 75 C (core temperature) before placing in Bain-Marie.
• Use a temperature setting that keeps the food hotter than 60 C
• Use a clean thermometer to check the temperature
• Unsure food does not fall below 60 C
• When refreshing Bain-Marie food replace the whole tray, don’t add to older food.
• Don’t let labels, price tags etc touch the food.

Always stir food held in a Bain-Marie

Actions to protect products
• Foreign objects can contaminate uncovered foods
• Never pile food higher than the level of the Bain-Marie trays
• Never place food on plates on top of the Bain-Marie trays
• Keep food hot in Bain-Marie until it is used
• If temperature falls below 60 C throw food away after 4 hours
• If food cant maintain at least 60 C tell your supervisor or call a mechanic
• Review your cleaning schedule to ensure Bain-Marie is kept clean
• Review the heating methods and the level Bain-marie trays are filled to

Time, temperature and food safety
Bacteria in food can grow to huge numbers if they get conditions that suit them. Ready-to-Eat High Risk Food held at a temperature of between 5°C and 60°C (The Temperature DangerZone) is the ideal place for bacteria to multiply.
When thinking about the safety of food, it is important to remember the two hour/four hour rule:

Ready-to-Eat High Risk Food which has been kept between 5°C and 60°C
• for a total of 4 hours or longer must be thrown out.
• for a total of less than 2 hours must be refrigerated or used immediately;
• for a total of more than 2 hours, but less than 4 hours must be used immediately.
Remember that these times are cumulative – each period in the Temperature DangerZone has to be added up to reach a total time


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