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What is Cook-Chill?
Restaurants, hotels, and their Chefs often use the Cook-Chill process, a food production, and storage method that involves cooking food to a high temperature to kill pathogens, cooling it rapidly to a temperature at which bacteria cannot grow, and storing it at that temperature until it is needed. Proper cook-chill method storing can help to prevent food spoilage and waste, as well as reduce the risk of foodborne illness. It allows Chefs to produce large quantities of food that can be stored and served at a later time, while at the same time reducing food waste and improving efficiency by allowing food to be prepared in advance and stored until it is needed for service.
The Cook-chill process allows food to be prepared in advance and stored until it is needed.
THE CASE OF TASTY FRESH
Tasty Fresh delivers meals like Australian savory pies, sausage rolls, quiche… around Australia.
Tasty Fresh Co. is an Australian family-owned and operated business that has been operating since 1979. It delivers fresh, hot food, snacks, and drinks right to the door of workplaces daily in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Newcastle, and Queensland. It has 4 in-house industrial bakeries that produce a range of high-quality pies, pastries, sausage rolls and much more.
They have six outlets across four states and service around 35,000 customers per day served in 153 vans and up to 100,000 units per day. Over 500 employees around Australia make that happen.
With such a large number of meals, they need to control some of the preparation that is based on the cook-chill method. Only a specialized technological solution that provides on-point, accurate temperature measurements would therefore come into play.
Tasty Fresh in numbers:
35,000 customers per day
100,000 units per day
There is lots of bureaucracy with keeping in check with HACCP standards.
For the Cook-Chill method large businesses also need to involve a Food Quality Manager, which translates into additional costs.
Finding the right solution
Cook-chill requires cook temp at typically 75ºC, then verifying cooling rates where the product chills from 60ºC to 21ºC within 2 hours, then 21ºC to <5ºC within 4 hours. This is to limit the risk of Clostridium perfringens bacteria re-vegetating and producing heat-stable SET toxins.
The solution therefore needed a custom-made sensor Senstick Food Temperature Probe STF30. Besides the rugged casing and probe also the firmware needed to be adapted to fit this unique case.
STF is a cost-effective food temperature probe. It operates on LoRaWAN and lasts up to 7 years on one set of batteries.
We adopted a continuous monitoring process so both cook and chill safety verification data are obtained in real-time. We have designed the world’s first set-and-forget, hands-free cook-chill system. Users simply put the sensor into a product, and the process starts. The temperature journey is tracked in real-time, so pre-emptive actions can be taken. Warnings and critical alarms are triggered to keep the kitchen absolutely aware.
The cook-chill probes are placed on quality Senzemo sensors. Sensor probes are used daily by Tasty Fresh to monitor and verify the cook-chill process without any user interaction with the software. It’s totally “hands-free”. The process on the server starts when the sensor hits 75ºC. So once inserted, you can walk away, and the sensor + software takes care of the rest.
All data is available on the Didge platform.
The process removes the bureaucracy of HACCP – not only is it paperless, but it’s smart and easy. Users cannot deviate, it’s true time/temperature monitoring. This re-purposes the users to focus on the process itself, the behaviors, and the practice – this is what food safety is all about. This completely changes the face of managing cook-chill processes into a tech-enabled solution.
Sensors reduce the workload and increase efficiency in busy kitchens.
Andy McCoy, Tasty Fresh Executive Chef:
Since we’we introduced sensors to our kitchen’s daily operations, we have been able to focus most of our time on other activites.
TASTY FRESH CASE
- Current food probe sensors on the market are based on the old technology
- Cables are a nuisance when trying to read the temperature
- Manual checking required
Currently, 70 custom-made Senstick sensors were sent out to these hotel chain kitchens, but there are many more to be deployed in a short time. Sensors perform real-time 10-second interval readings, which can be read on a tablet and also offer historic data. This allows Chefs to monitor the food cooking processes, resulting in better food quality, safety, and less waste.
- Reducing the workload and increasing efficiency in busy kitchens.
- Improved food safety & quality, less food waste.
- Flexibility for large-scale food servings.