RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - When restaurants cool food off after cooking, the Health Department requires that it be cooled down to between 135 and 70 degrees within two hours, and down to 41 degrees within six hours at most.
It might sound picky, but they say the bacteria that can start growing on food in the danger zone is a major contributing factor to foodborne illness.
A cooling problem was one of the four critical violations and seven non-critical at El Paso Mexican Restaurant at 13245 Rittenhouse Drive in Chesterfield. The inspection report says a pan of shredded chicken hadn't been adequately cooled to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, so the operator had to throw it out. When the inspector returned two weeks later, everything was corrected except for one new critical. Some scallops, raw chicken, and salsa were not cold enough, so they were refrigerated.
And Wah Wah Chinese Restaurant at 8243 Hull Street Road in Chesterfield had four critical violations. The inspector noted raw chicken and beef in the cookline maketable were not kept cold enough, so the operator threw it out.