2.3 Flow of Food

Abby Jones, Logan Riddle, and Maddie Kelly


Cross Contamination

To prevent cross contamination make sure workstations, cutting boards, and utensils are clean and sanitized. Do not allow RTE food touch surfaces that have come in contact with raw meat, seafood, or poultry. If using the same table to prepare many kinds of food, prepare raw meat, seafood, and poultry at a different time that RTE food. Be sure to clean and sanitize work surfaces and utensils between each product.

Time Temperature Abuse

To prevent time temperature abuse you can reduce the time it spends in the temperature danger zone: (41 degrees to 135 degrees).


When purchasing food, always make sure that they are at the correct temperature. To check you can use a total of 3 different thermometers. A bimetallic stemmed thermometers. That can check food temperatures from 0 degree to 220 degrees. They're used to check both hot and cold foods. Or a thermocouple and/or thermistors. These measure temperatures through a metal probe and display them digitally. The sensing area is on the tip of the probe. They don't have to be inserted far into the food. Last one is an infrared thermometer. That measures the temperatures of food and equipment surfaces. It does not have to touch a surface to check its temperature, less chance for cross-contamination.

When purchasing food you also need to make sure it an approved food source? An approved food source is food that is inspected by appropriate agencies and meets all applicable local, state and federal laws.


When receiving food you need to know when to accept or reject it.

  • Check the temperature that it is 41 degrees below for cold and 135 degrees and up for hot
  • Packaging should be intact and clean. Reject any items with packaging problems, signs of pest damage and expired use-by dates.
  • Reject food if it has abnormal color, slimy, sticky, dry texture, soft flesh that leaves an imprint when you touch it, and abnormal or unpleasant odor.
  • Make sure shellfish has correct use-by dates - one time use only. Employees have to keep tags for 90 days. Reject shellfish if they are muddy, have broken shells, or are dead.
  • Eggs must be clean and unbroken. Must be received at 45 degrees or lower. Liquid, frozen, and dehydrated egg products must be pasteurized and have a USDA inspection mark. Eggs also must meet USDA grade standards.
  • Milk and Dairy must be received at 41 degrees or lower and must be pasteurized and meet FDA Grade A standards.


To store food properly assure that the food is placed in an area between 41 degrees and lower and 135 and higher . Label all RTE TCS food with date sold, eaten, thrown out & name of food. Throw out after 7 days. Follow FIFO (First In, First Out) method.


Time Temperature abuse can easily happen during preparation. Prepare food in small batches and thaw frozen food correctly. Thaw TCS foods in one of these ways: thaw food in a cooler, at a temperature of 41 degrees or lower. Submerge food under running water at 70 degrees or lower. Thaw food in a micorwave oven if it will be cooked imeediately. Finally, you can thaw the food as part of the cooking process.


When cooking make sure the minimum internal temperature is 135 degrees for all TCS foods.

Holding, Storing, and Reheating

When holding, cooling, and reheating TCS foods make sure to check the temperature every four hours. Also make sure to reheat it and cool it correctly and keep out of the temperature danger zone. Lastly, throw out foods in the temperature danger zone above 6 hours.


To serve food correctly, handle ready-to-eat food with tongs, deli sheets, or gloves. Use separate utensils for each food item. Clean and sanitize them after each serving task. Store serving utensils in the food with the handle extended above the rim of the container, to prevent accidentally touching the food while they try to retrieve the utensil, which might contaminate the food.



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