Many customers experience problems when ordering take out food. Almost all would assume that these incidents are the take out restaurant’s fault. However, that is not always the case as proper handling of the food does not stop at the take out counters; they continue on until consumers have eaten them.
Common Problems after Taking Out Food at the Restaurant:
· Food spoilage.
· Hot or cold food is no longer at the desired temperature levels when consumed.
· Food poisoning.
Common Causes of Problems in Take Out Food:
· Unsanitary preparation procedures.
· Unhygienic preparation area and kitchen tools.
· Food was packed in the wrong food containers.
· Improper storage by customer.
· Food not properly handled after taking out.
While restaurants are to blame for most problems in take out food, the customers also play a role in properly handling the food after it has been taken out of the restaurant deals. Customers must be aware of the proper ways to handle, store and consume take out food in order to prevent any harm.
· Perishable food must be consumed within 24 hours.
· Follow a 2-hour rule. When food is exposed to room temperature, it should be consumed or refrigerated within 2 hours and be properly disposed of once the two hours have passed without consuming the food.
· If food has been exposed to a temperature of 90⁰F, it must be disposed of or refrigerated after only 1 hour of not consuming it.
· Hot food must be kept HOT. Maintain internal temperature of 140⁰F or above for hot food.
· Cold food must be kept COLD. Maintain an internal temperature of 40⁰F or below to keep food from spoiling.
· When planning to consume food at a later time or date, immediately keep it in a refrigerator or freezer.
· Consume refrigerated food within 2 to 3 days.
· When thawing cooked or wrapped meat or poultry, allow 24 hours to have them completely thawed, that is, 24 hours per 5 pounds. Once thawed, consume it in 3 to 4 days.
· Reheat foods that contain meat to an internal temperature of 165⁰F and if reheated in an oven, set it to 325⁰F.
These basic tips will keep your food safe to eat anytime. Food can be contaminated while preparing it or only at a later time when it has been taken out and exposed to not very ideal temperatures. So, the next time your plan on ordering take out food, make sure to handle it properly and follow these tips.