When considering the volumes of foods that need to be cooked and stored in a school district's central kitchen, blast chilling can be an efficient...
Preparing Your Menu Safely For Fall
With fall around the corner and the countdown to food-centered holidays starting, food safety has never been more critical. Each year, 1 in 6 Americans contract a preventable foodborne illness that can result in hospitalization and even death. To combat the spread of foodborne diseases, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has dedicated the month of September to food safety education.
These tips and tricks can help identify and correct risky kitchen practices to ensure fall menus are safe for guests during this year's Halloween and Thanksgiving restaurant and venue gatherings.
September is National Food Safety Education Month!
The FDA's National Food Safety Month brings attention to the preventable nature of foodborne illnesses by educating the public on safer kitchen practices just before the biggest food holidays of the year. For this September's Food Safety Month, the FDA's website has posted multiple guides on safe food handling, everyday food safety, people at risk of foodborne illness, and more. These guides include proper kitchen cleaning measures, preparation methods, cook times, and storage practices to minimize contamination while preparing for fall gatherings.
For example, keep raw meats separate from everything else in walk-in coolers and freezers when cooking and storing food. Keep surfaces in your commercial kitchen clean, and make sure to rinse all fresh produce to prevent contamination. Following these basic steps when cooking protects customers from contracting a potentially life-threatening foodborne illness.
Popular Halloween & Fall Favorites
Not only is September National Food Safety Month, but September 22nd is the official first day of autumn. With delicious produce such as apples and pumpkins in season and holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving requiring the season's tastiest treats in their celebration, it is essential to know what recipes are trending. Restaurants looking to impress consumers with a great menu this fall should strive to innovate traditional foods served on Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Popular Halloween dishes, such as caramel apples and pumpkin pie, call for creativity in the kitchen and provide an excellent foundation for cooks to elevate staples. However, pumpkins and apples are not the only foods consumers want this festive season. According to predicted trends for fall 2022, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, and eggplant are just a few of the many foods consumers are looking for.
These trends also indicate that soups, stews, and noodles will be popular this year, as cooler temperatures will have most people craving warm, hearty meals. Restaurants should utilize this trend to streamline their fall menus. These trendy options often contain popular seasonal produce like sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and squash that other dishes already require.
Batch Cooking Fall Flavors - Made Easy
With so many unique flavors limited to just one season, it is no surprise that many chefs rely on batch-cooking seasonal fall foods. However, with so much food needing to be stored, improper practices frequently occur and spread foodborne illnesses. Using a blast chiller or shock freezer, prep work is made more accessible, and leftovers are quickly stored for later use. Chefs can rest easy knowing that Thermo-Kool blast chillers and shock freezers help keep favorite fall foods safe and ready to serve at any time.