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Rules and regulations for storing hot food are just as strict as those for storing cold food. If you are serving hot meats or you have hot food out on display, you must be aware that bacteria can grow very quickly, which can lead to poisoning.

When you are using hot food display units, you need to follow the manufacturer's recommendations. There are different types of hot food display and Hot food storage units. Some work by directly heating the food by elements or lights and others work by heating up water to heat dishes that the food is placed in.

Water heated units need to be a minimum of 82 degrees Celcius. When at temperature, the dishes containing the food sit in the water and keep the food hot. The food is an ideal temperature for the consumer and bacteria cannot develop in the food.

Whatever method of keeping food hot you use, it is vital that the temperature of the food is kept above 63°C to control the multiplication of bacteria. Regular checking and recording of temperatures are important to maintain food quality.

When using hot food cabinets, you need to make sure the water is always at the correct level and temperature. The equipment also needs to be well maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.

Any food that has previously been heated and needs to be re-heated, must be at a temperature of 82°C, which will ensure it has been reheated to a safe and, in some cases, legally required temperature. Using a suitable time and temperature combination will also ensure that food has been reheated safely, for example reaching a core temperature of 70°C for 2 minutes. Reheating can only be done once, then the food must be destroyed.