and food preparation areas do not facilitate opportunities for cross-contamination from one to the other.
With regard to the cleaning and sanitization of food-contact surfaces, inspectors should verify the compliance of any warewashing operations by ensuring that cleaning and sanitizing procedures for all food-contact surfaces conform to the requirements in the Food Code. Questions should be asked to assess how utensils and cookware are washed, rinsed, and sanitized in the food establishment. When assessing the warewashing procedure and equipment, inspectors should pay particular attention to cooking and baking equipment that is too large to fit in the dishmachine or sinks. It is a good idea to have the person responsible for dishwashing demonstrate the procedure that is followed in the food establishment by setting up the sinks and watching the dishwashing procedure.
Assessing Cooking Temperatures
Food cooking temperatures and times should be verified by inspectors during each inspection. Every effort should be made to assess the cooking temperatures of a variety of products served in the food establishment.
To assess cooking, inspections must occur at times when food is being cooked. It is also important to conduct inspections during busy times, such as lunch and dinner, as there may be a tendency for the operator to rush the cooking of foods during these times.
Critical limits for cooking potentially hazardous foods (TCS foods) in the Food Code include specifications that all parts of the food be heated to a certain temperature. For large roasts, temperature measurement should take into account post-cooking heat rise which allows the temperature to reach equilibrium throughout the food. The critical limit of time at the terminal temperature must also be measured during inspections. For example, a roast beef cooked at 54°C (130°F) is required to be held at this temperature for 112 minutes to ensure destruction of pathogens. Cooking times and temperatures should be noted on the inspection report.
The correct temperature measuring device and technique are essential in accurately determining the temperatures of potentially hazardous foods (TCS foods). The geometric center or thickest part of a product are the points of measurement of product temperature particularly when measuring critical limits for cooking.
Inspectors should take internal temperatures of products using a thermocouple or thermistor with a probe suitable for the product thickness. A thin diameter probe should be used for temperature measurements of hamburger patties and fish filets. Alternately, although less desirable, an inspector may use a suitable, calibrated bimetal stem thermometer for checking cooking temperatures of thick foods. Infrared thermometers are inappropriate for measuring internal cooking temperatures.
Annex 5 – Conducting Risk-based Inspections 526