Scores on Doors also heavily penalise food based on incorrect temperatures.

Like dirty hands, the temperature of food is one of the biggest contributors to food poisoning and one that can now be easily avoided.

Bacteria flourishes between 5° and 60°. Above 60° it is killed, and below 5° it slows down. So the standards are about trying to keep the food out of the 5° to 60° range, or minimise the time it is within this range.

The points relating to temperature include:

7: Potentially hazardous food (PHF) is under temperature control: food receipt, storage, display and transport; less than 5°C, above 60°C. Frozen food is hard frozen. – 1, 4 or 8 points

8: Processing of foods; items thawed correctly; processed quickly; no contamination risk. – 4 points

9: Cooked PHF is cooled rapidly – 8 points

10: Reheating of PHF is rapid – oven, storve top or microwave but not bain marie – 8 points

That’s up to 28 points relating to temperature, and 3 potential automatic failures.

On the topic of temperature there is a large amount we can say (and have, over many blogs), but following are some key points:

–        Ensure that all storage areas are monitored and the results reliably recorded. The best solution is a temperature logger such as Logtag or Thermocron.

–        Likewise monitor all vehicles with a temperature logger. For caterers, if items are stored in an esky or larger container then log them as well.

–        When heating or cooling food, ensure that you are doing it quickly. Many of our customers have placed a Thermocron in the middle of a pot to log the heating and cooling process. For many, the results meant using different shaped containers or smaller containers to ensure they complied.

–        Food grade thermometers are essential. Cheap thermometers that don’t indicate their accuracy are not compliant.

–        Infrared thermometers (the “guns”) are OK at testing temperature when receiving items, but are prone to operator error and the user must know their limitations.

–        Be very careful about food that is outside a controlled environment. This is typically food that is moving from one store to another (e.g. the delivery vehicle to the fridges, fridges to display cabinets). Ensure that PHF can’t be accidentally left out.

Last but not least…

In my final blog I give my opinion on how Scores on Doors can be improved.

For the start of the series go to Scores On Doors Overview.