CVap as a Critical Component of HACCP

Many of you have discovered the benefits of precision low-temperature cooking provided by CVap® equipment. We often receive reports of you preparing the perfectly prepared rare steak or a beautiful mid-rare burger. But you might not know that this same process provided by Controlled Vapor technology can also be a critical part of your HACCP plan.

There are people who avoid low-temperature processing because of the fear of food-borne illness created by bacteria such as e-coli, salmonella or clostridium perfringens. Improper food temperature is the most frequent – and preventable – cause of food-borne illness, which is why temperature control is so critical to any HACCP plan. FSIS Directive appendix A&B Compliance Guidelines for Meeting Lethality Performance Standards defines the time/temperature requirements for achieving  6.5-log10 or 7-log10 reduction of Salmonella.

To give you an example of how CVap technology can help meet this type of bacteria reduction while maintaining the quality of a burger see test results of a medium rare burger below. In this test we have accomplished a +7 log reduction and still maintained the quality associated with a medium rare burger. Safe and tasty!

Perfect Fried Rice Made Food Safe!

According to some in the restaurant business, the traditional method for cooking the perfect fried rice is to cook the rice, chill it in a walk-in cooler overnight, and then stir fry cold rice the next day. This method, however, does create an opportunity for bacteria growth. The USDA has established that bacteria which can cause illness grows much faster in the temperature danger zone between 40 degrees and 140 degrees. USDA guidelines.

SackofRiceWhen the rice is chilled below 40 degrees quickly, it reduces the opportunity for bacteria growth. Easier said than done! The reason being that rice is often stored in 4″ or 6″ deep hotel pans. The deeper the hotel pan, the greater the mass of rice, and the longer it takes that rice to cool down, potentially placing it within the temperature danger zone. Plus, rice is often placed in a walk-in cooler to chill, and this forces the cooler to work harder to remain cold. If hot rice is placed at room temperature to begin cooling, it could take hours and is even more likely to put the rice in the temperature danger zone.

The inverse can be true when rice is reheated, as well. If rice taken from a cooler is not heated quickly to at least 165°F, the potential for bacteria growth occurs again.

So what’s a HACCP Safe solution for maintaining the perfect rice? CVap® hot holding. Holding rice in CVap overnight keeps it hot and maintains a safe food temperature continuously. We have held rice for more thanr 14 hours and the quality remained outstanding!

So our revised process for cooking the perfect fried rice is to hold the rice overnight in CVap and then stir fry the hot rice the next day for serving. We recommend CVap holding settings of 150°F Food Temperature and Food Texture set at 0.