I've not been on this board in some time - but I wanted to post this because I think many here might find it useful. I just posted this elsewhere, am now rather tired (been a long day), so am simply quoting my post in its entirety. Maybe some of you will find this helpful. The stuff at the bottom of the post holds true here too. If anyone wants help with the regs or procedural details, or if something isn't clear, just shoot me an email or post here.
In a discussion on another thread I offered to send the pdf of the 2009 Food Code to another member. (I've had an advance copy for a bit.) Checking the FDA's site for professionals, I've found they have posted it, finally.
The Food Code is lengthy in its entirety. It is divided into several chapters and covers water, plumbing and waste to compliance issues, linens, equipment - the list goes on. Much is not germane to most of us.
The relevant chapter, imo, for most of us here that might be interested is the Food chapter. It is available as a pdf here
. For those interested in the entire Code outline (with links to all the chapters, available as pdfs), here
For those of you already catering (whether DL or legit) or those thinking about it, or those that would like to know the actual regs and guidelines rather than the consumer-oriented info that the USDA and FDA have on their main site (and the stuff endlessly repeated hither and yon), it's worth downloading.
What you will not
find is single-number internal temps for safe finish internals; you will not find what we know as the Danger Zone referred to as 40-140?. What you will
find is the time at temp figures I've referred to numerous times
here over the years, and you'll see the low end of the DZ as 41?, the top end at 135?*.
You will also not find many specific procedures. Instead, you'll see either no reference at all or you will see a reference to FSIS or USDA codes or procedures.**
For those that wish to follow the consumer-oriented info - fine; nothing wrong with that at all. But many here have expressed an interest in better info, and info relevant to the regulations extant today. Here it is.
Note: The FDA's Food Code is developed and released on an erratic schedule, sometimes two years pass, sometimes three, four or five. The one prior was 2005, for example. States are not required to adopt the Food Code - they are free to or not, and are free to modify as they wish (within reason, there are some things that probably wouldn't fly). Many states do adopt the Code but, governments being governments, this can take some time, like several
years after the Code is published. Then, within individual states, the Code can vary. Some states require all their counties to follow whatever regs the state has adopted and/or legislated. Other states allow individual counties to modify (within reason) the regs to better suit that county. The 2009 FDA Food Code should not
be viewed as absolute - though if you have a business that requires Federal licensing, it likely is - but viewed as a reference only. You - if you have a licensed food service business - are responsible (by law) for knowing what code you are to follow, whether county, state or federal - or some combination of them. Unfortunately, that's how it works.
I hope those interested find this helpful.
* I've made the statement on this board and elsewhere - too many times to count - that the top end of the Danger Zone is 130?. It is, though the Code says 135?. The top end of the Zone is determined by the highest temp food pathogens can outgrow, i.e., multiply. Only one, Clostridium perfringens
, mostly associated with meat, outgrows at these higher temps (the others mostly fall into the 70-110 range, though there are variances, and Listeria
can grow at fridge temps, though quite slowly). C. perf. stops growing at a bit over 127?F. Rounded up, we get 130?. FSIS was using 130? back in the 1970s and attempts were made to revise the status quo to this scientifically-based number, then and into the 1980s. In committee, many states opposed changing to 130? from 140?. A compromise of 135? was reached. So 135? is a political number, not a science-based one. For that, 130?. (It need not be repeated that for checking safe internals - especially of thin items - a tip-sensitive digital therm is the only way to go. Bimetal analog therms will not do. They only take an average temp and require 2-2.5-inches of probe to be inserted in the item.)
** If any come across procedural requirements that aren't clear (few are, they are simply referenced elsewhere) and would like explanation or explication just ask and I'll help.
[Note to John: In the other thread you expressed some frustration in trying to convert canner recipes you have to something safer, if necessary. You will not find those specifics in the Code - though I think you will find other useful information. Send me an e (address is in my profile) and I'd be happy to help you convert the recipes, and/or provide you documentation for same.]