Sous Vide Safety

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FritzHlzr

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Original poster
Jun 10, 2022
33
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So for quite some time I've been reading and seeing the Sous Vide being used to reheat food, I'm aware of the other uses but reheating leftovers is what had peeked my interest. So I bring it up to my Brother, he's a successful executive chef thats been in the industry for 3 plus decades and he's my brother so his opinion takes precedent, he advised me against it and provided me with a basic reference as to why not, which I included as an attachment, So what are all of your thoughts on this, the use seems to be widespread and Ive never heard of it affecting anyone or it even being brought up as a concern. Am I missing something?
 
What is his concern for folks like me who will not click on the attached? I would not have a problem reheating with sv.
 
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The bottom line, if you want to be truly safe, don't let food be in its respective "danger zone" for more than 4 hours when reheating. It really is that simple. Reheating wit hthe sousvide is perfectly safe.

Here are a few things on the topic;

If I Can Cook Frozen Food Sous Vide, Can I Also Reheat Leftovers Sous Vide?​

You bet. If it’s still sealed in the bag you cooked it in and you’ve followed the guidelines laid out above, then the food is pasteurized and safe to eat. If you opened the bag, you can seal cooled leftovers in a fresh bag and later reheat the food sous vide.


You only need to heat it up enough to get it to the best temperature for eating. Generally, that’s a few degrees below the temperature it was cooked to initially.



How Long Do Foods Cooked Sous Vide Keep in the Fridge?​

Foods cooked sous vide and refrigerated in the sealed bags they were cooked in have a longer shelf life than foods that were cooked and transferred to a different container.


You can refrigerate cooked, properly cooled foods in their unopened sous vide bags up to 10 days. If you’ve opened the bags, your leftovers will have the same shelf life as conventionally cooked leftovers.

 
What is his concern for folks like me who will not click on the attached? I would not have a problem reheating with sv.
Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium perfringens, Listeria monocytogenes, seems the instances are very rare. I plan on discussing it with him in more detail next opportunity.
 
35yrs in the food service industry (prep cook, to chef). The last restaurant I worked at we did sous vide filets. We would have a certain amount we made per night. 8x rare, 20x med rare. We would have 2 seperate containers for each temp. Start them about noon, by 3-4pm they are ready. We would hold them at their sv temp and sear to order.
Zero issues in 5yrs of being there. Heath inspector gave us the ok w/o any issues.

If we had any leftovers, they went into the freezer and used during lunch specials.
 
Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium perfringens, Listeria monocytogenes, seems the instances are very rare. I plan on discussing it with him in more detail next opportunity.
Food safety starts with supply, then moves to preparation. If the bacteria were present in the beginning prep, they will be there in the warm up.

That said, it takes 240+F to take care of botulism, which is the worst of all of them, if it is present and if it can make toxin. At temperatures above 140F it won’t make toxin and below 40F it won’t make toxin. This is why we have the 40F to 140F safety rule in less than 4 hours. As long as you stick with that rule and serve the food no lower in temp than 140F you are safe. Let the food set at 100f for a few hours and you can get sick, but again, the bacteria had to already be there in the food to begin with. Listeria, for one, is not even effected by nitrites, so food origination and food prep are always big if not huge factors.

I have zero problem reheating leftovers in SV at a temp at or above 141F this is FSIS standard for holding temps on food stuff.
 
On a hunting board I frequent a member stated he cooked a steak at 120 for 10 hours, nothing I have read said that is a safe temp for that time, had several others liking it, not me lol I have no fear of reheating food sv, 140 or higher for me depending how large of a item
 
130* would be rare and just about still moo'n in the field. 133* for med rare, 135* medium. I'd have to look at my recipe sheets, but I think it's at a 3hr s/v time frame.
 
There's heating, pasteurizing and sterilizing. With Sous vide we have heating and pasteurizing tables. Most folks for steaks are heating vs using the pasteurizing table. Which is just a couple hours longer at the heating water bath temp which won't affect steak texture. If you meet the pasteurization duration at the water bath temp at its thickness you could have single steaks, roasts etc in your fridge after quickly cooling in an ice water bath that keeps the three foodbourne pathogen spore formers Clos Botulibus, Clos. Perfringens abd Bacillus Cereus from turning into a vegitative state, producing their toxins. All other bacteria and viruses are reduced to 6.5D log reduction or 7D log reduction for poultry. As long as it's quickly cooled and stored in its original vac sealed bag these are the fridge temp durations at there respectful days before you reheat it and sear for service or freeze. You could have a fridge full of Sous Vide pasteurized food over several weeks waiting for yo to reheat and eat from the original vac bag.
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