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Many Different Ways To Go About Taking Care Of Food

Aug 17, 2007
If you talk to fifty chefs you'll get fifty different answers on packaging. Yes, it is addressed extensively in the training materials and during the seminars. Believe it or not, it is not really a big deal. You just look at the options and decide what's best for you and your clients. It is really not a big deal at all, and you could get fifty or more different answers here. There are typically three different types of packagaing. Disposables, Rubbermaid type, and pyrex... usually people choose the ones they desire, and are charged accordingly.

Some people use vacuum seal bags... That is, other than using gladware/ziplock, rubbermaid, and pyrex. So what is my opinion about vacuum seal bags? I do take mine on occasion and people do not complain when I package things that way, especially with fish. As most chefs would tell it is up to the client when it come to the way they want their food sealed. Some like to have their food put in FoodSavers and others just like to have it put in containers or ziplock bags. It all depends on how must space you have in your ice box.

Using coolers is another way people like to keep some of the food preserved, but not many people like to use coolers because it is just too much hastle for them to carry around to all the jobs that they have to do. It is just there so if is to hot or if you have more then one stop they will always come in hand just like choosing the right kind of FoodSaver that you would like to us in your home or if the client asks for it. I only use a cooler on rare occasions. If it's ninety degrees and I have forty minutes to drive, I'll use one.

Otherwise all my groceries go into a Rubbermaid style box and I bring them into the house that way. I also learned that day that in order to get groceries from the grocery store to her car required coolers or thermal bags or it was all frozen before it got there. That might be a litle hard on the lettuce and eggs. It sure makes shopping for clients even more important a service to offer since there is risk involved.

The store I most commonly shop at for most things is 1 mile away from me if that. My closest client to that store is exactly seventeen miles, yet it takes me a minimum of third-five minutes to get her house. It gets very hot here in Houston area with high humidity (100* but "feels" like 120*). I don't won't foods at an unsafe temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes, then go into the clients home, & have it siiting out some more (nor having toput in fridge until I have to drag it out again). Also, what if your vehile breaks down or you have a flat. That food is sitting there much much longer.

Yeah, it's easier to put foods into that collapsible cooler (can find at Sams or Costco relatively inexpensive at that), but sometimes, since I have three of them... I put other things in another one, because they also have wheels. Every minute that perishables are in the temperature danger zone is a chance for foodborne illness causing bacteria to grow and multiply. As well as a chance for the quality of the food to degrade.

I may well take that risk for my own food and family...but it's my job as a professional to do everything I can to minimize that risk to my clients. And coolers for persishables are essential; I don't care how cold it is outside. If it's cold...I've got the heat on in the car and it's a big station wagon...but again, if it's in the cooler on ice I have complete control of the temperature the food is being kept at, during transport, during unloading at the clients, etc.

Plus, I can then save room in the fridge to cool things, rather than fill it up with my perishable items. I'm sorry, but transporting perishable goods at ambient temperatures is a sure way to get local health departments in interested in regulating our industry. The goal is to be as safe or safer than a caterer or foodservice operator and safer than a private individual.

And unless you're carrying a thermometer in your car and checking the temp of groceries, believe me, health dept. regs do not have loopholes like "A caterer can leave meats in an unrefrigerated vehicle as long as the drive is less than 15 minutes"

You have to have standards. They should be higher than absolutely necessary. And you should live by them. I know that sounds pompous and hope you'll forgive me, but I take food safety in this industry pretty seriously. When you think about it there are always many different way to being able to keep food save from all kinds of things that can get people sick. But most of us would prefer to have a foodsaver in the car or with us at all times just to make sure that the client has his/her chose on what they would like the food tranfered in.

I also find using a cooler helps keep me organized, in addition to keeping things out of the temperature danger zone. Once I've gone to the grocery store, I divide the groceries into rolling coolers. One for non-perishables (wihtout ice packs), one for veggies, fruit, dairy, etc., and one for meats. It's just my way of adding one more layer of protection from cross-contamination. I also like the rolling style coolers that I got from Costco. I have a bunch and usually take three or four, which I find saves my back.

I put everything in them, including pots and pans.Some people like to have the dispole kind of canter of bags so that it would just be a whole lot easier for them to throw away if they don't eat the food in a preferd time. They even like the kind of contaners that they can just give to people that way they don't need to get it back.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert author for http://www.VacuumFoodSealer.info/. Here you can find the best selection of FoodSaver Vacuum Food Sealers and accessories on the market. Preserve and store foods at home using this proven vacuum packing method. Search through our selection of vacuum food sealers here: http://www.vacuumfoodsealer.info/category/appliances.html.
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