Only one mistake when preserving food that a man lost his life, 5 other family members were seriously poisoned.
After cooking a large pot of hot food, do you let it cool and then put it in the fridge or put it in the fridge right after it’s done cooking?
Experts all recommend that freshly cooked food should be left outside to cool down and then stored in the refrigerator, which will ensure safety and avoid affecting the storage capacity of the cabinet. However, if you put hot food in the refrigerator right away, what will happen?
Taiwanese nephrologist Jiang Shousan shared in the medical program about a case where a family was poisoned and even died because of the above method.
According to Jiang Shousan, a few days ago the doctor received a man who had been on dialysis for 10 years. This person was treated regularly, so his health was quite stable, there were no abnormalities, but one day he was taken to the emergency room and suddenly passed away. Later, five other family members of the male patient were also taken to the emergency room due to food poisoning.
When the medical staff asked what the family had eaten that day, they slowly deduced that the root cause of all 6 family members being hospitalized was probably the soup. As it turned out, a man in the family, for fear of hot weather, leaving the pot of soup outside would cause bacteria to multiply and eat dangerously. So, as soon as his wife finished cooking the soup, he took enough soup for the whole family and then put the whole pot of hot soup in the refrigerator without waiting for the soup to cool. And it is this seemingly unintentional preservation action that causes the refrigerator temperature to rise, affecting the preservation of other foods, creating opportunities for bacteria to multiply and damage other foods. family with food poisoning.
Dr. Jiang Shousan reminds that soup is mainly water, once the water is at a high temperature, it usually takes a long time to cool down. Household refrigerators are not quick-cooling warehouses, too hot soup will cause the temperature in the refrigerator to rise, increasing the risk of spoiling other foods. Cooked food should be completely cooled down before storing in the refrigerator, so as not to take longer for the refrigerator to cool and increase the chance of spoiling other foods.
A little hot food in your fridge is okay, but stashing big hot pots there isn’t best practice. Instead, here’s how to cool your food safely before putting it in your fridge.
Bacteria on the foods we eat multiply under certain conditions. Luckily we can store our food in refrigerators, keeping the temperature at 40 degrees or less, which slows bacterial growth.
However, when we place huge portions of hot foods in, it takes more time for the food (especially the center) to cool down to safe temperatures. If that hot food sits at an internal temperature of above 40 degrees for more than two hours, it is considered unsafe.
How to Safely Store Hot foods
Bulky pots of stock, broth, or soup are all examples of large portions that should not be placed directly into the fridge after being cooked. Not only will it take much longer for that liquid to cool, but you can affect the temperatures of the cold foods around the large pot.
When you have massive amounts of soups, stews, or large pieces of meat or poultry, be sure to divide them into smaller portions. Place these smaller amounts into shallow containers before refrigerating to allow for faster cooling.
Rapid Cooling Methods
Although small amounts are considered safe to place directly into the fridge without cooling first, the most reliable practice is to cool food rapidly and then store it away. The goal is to ensure it reaches 40 degrees or under as fast as possible. There are a few ways to do this.
As you already know, dividing the food into small portions is a great way to help cool the foods faster. However, if this isn’t an option, you can also use an ice bath or ice paddle to help expedite the process.
In the ice bath method, place your large pot in a larger container filled will ice and water. You can also set a clean ice paddle directly inside of the large bowl of hot contents. Ice Paddles are made with sturdy food-grade plastics and are used to cool large amounts of hot food down before storing it in the fridge.
If you don’t have ice paddles, another great way to cool down a big batch of liquid (like that yummy broth you just made) is to fill zipper bags with ice and drop them in. Replace the ice as it melts and it’ll be fridge ready in no time.