The Key to Menuing Heated Cheese Safely
Culinary & Safety
updated 2021.09.13 | original 2021.01.15
Appetizers and dishes featuring heated cheese sauce have been rising on menus for the past few years, and the trend looks to continue upward. Whether you’re serving nachos with house-made queso blanco, topping sandwiches with aged, melted cheddar, or sticking to a tried-and-true manufacturer’s cheese sauce in pouches, it is important to keep cheese at a food-safe temperature.
The Danger Zone for potentially hazardous foods – such as cheese, which contains dairy – ranges between 40˚F and 135˚F, and leaving a food in the Danger Zone for an extended period of time allows bacteria to grow – in fact, the temperature range at which bacteria are most proliferate is between 70˚F and 125˚F. Heating refrigerated or shelf-stable cheese sauce through this zone as quickly as possible ensures customers are safe from bacteria that can cause a host of food-borne illnesses.
Rethermalizers heat food products quickly and keep sauces at proper temperatures until ladled or pumped over a plate of fries or nachos. Rethermalizers with spout warmers for portion-controlled pumps keep all the melty cheese within the discharge tube warm between dispenses.
Be sure to follow any additional local health guidelines as they pertain to potentially hazardous foods.
Heating and dispensing foods with calcium requires thorough cleaning between uses. Milkstone can build up inside of pumps, making it difficult to dispense.
As always, it’s a best practice to clean your rethermalizer thoroughly to extend its overall lifespan. Check out our food warmer maintenance blog to ensure you keep your countertop commercial warmer in peak working condition.