Reheating food presents a major potential hazard as food passes through the danger zone on the three occasions. Bacterial growth may occur during the heating-up phase, the cooling phase and during any subsequent storage, if sufficiently high temperatures are not reached and then maintained. Generally, food should be reheated as rapidly as possible, to a temperature of at least 75°C (82°C in Scotland) and then held at 63°C or above, until served.
to ensure adequate reheating, bulk should be minimised and, to ensure rapid penetration of heat, ‘surround’ systems, such as specialist regeneration ovens, may be used. Microwave ovens are a successful and efficient means of reheating, providing the food has a high water content. However, domestic models should not be used in commercial practice. Commercial convector-microwave ovens are particularly useful.
Liquid products, such as soups, should be brought to the boil and kept boiling for several minutes before use, to ensure destruction of toxins. The hit liquids may then need cooling before they can be served, to avoid scalding.