[Sca-cooks] Food Safety in the SCA

Nick Sasso grizly at mindspring.com
Sat Aug 23 10:18:14 PDT 2008

-----Original Message-----
Moral of the story - temp your food and keep it at the right temps for
the right amount of time!  > > > > >

Excellent moral.  Find out the current guidleiones from the local
Environmentla Health agency.  The zeitgiest recently changed and set the
"danger zone" at 42F to 138F.  The reheat and cooling regimens haves changed
a bit.  You get time as a tool for food safety.

These are not so much laws for volunteer groups, but knowing them and using
them as tools is a huge step toward avoiding an outbreak of food born
illnesses.  Listeria, staphylococcus areus & its toxins (staph), B. cereus,
and salmonella are buggy-boos that are creeping up more and more often due
to time-temp stresses on food by people who are either uneducated, apathetic
or careless. Most healthy adults under 60 are reduced risk for
life-threatening illness, but the stomach stuff you get from a feast can be
nasty . . . even if you brought your own food and poisoned yourself!!  And,
given the realtively short holding times of foods I have handled for SCA
events . . . the hold temp was not that much a big deal.  Given that
guidelines provide hot foods had to stay above 138F . . . then when food
went below, or left my temp control, it was FOUR HOURS before I had to
consider disposing of it.  Serena's roast meat mass oven cooler would EASILY
fit this model, and would as she said more likely tend to overcook her meats
in the carryover heat.

The key route of intervention and prevention of food borne illnesses happens
BEFORE the food is cooked.  Proper food
purchasing/handling/storage/washing/preparation and personnel hygiene such
as hand washing will give a lot of "breathing room" in dealing with food
safety on the back end of hot holding.  Cooking and holding temps are only
at all useful if the front end of the game has been scrutinized.

pacem et bonum,
niccolo difrancesco

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list