Cooling Food Quickly
Cooked foods, especially meat and poultry dishes, must be cooled quickly to prevent the growth of micro-organisms that can cause food borne illness. It is important to cool these types of foods to under 40 degrees F within two hours of cooking.
Large cuts of meat, such as whole turkeys, hams or roasts should be sliced or carved and placed in shallow containers in the refrigerator. Large pots of soups or stews should be divided into small shallow containers to enhance even cooling. Soups or stews can also be quick chilled by placing the pot in an ice bath in the sink. Once cooled, foods can be repackaged into larger containers, if appropriate, for ease of storage in either the refrigerator or freezer.