Authority dishes out safety warning on slow-cooked French food

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 13th December 2012

Food safety risks have been raised by the NSW Food Authority over a popular style of French cooking, sous vide.

Sous vide, which means ‘under vacuum’ in French, refers to a technique where foods are vacuum-sealed in plastic for slow cooking which in some cases results in food remaining raw or undercooked.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson released new guidelines this week for the increasingly popular cooking style sous vide, raising concerns about cooking food at low temperatures for long periods of time.

“It is important to keep food safety information up to date with changing trends in the food industry,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

Ms Hodgkinson said that many TAFE’s and cooking schools were teaching the French technique, but “the first ingredient to remember is safety.”

The new sous vide guidelines recommend that chefs:

  • prepare thin portions of food so food cooks quickly
  • set water bath temperature above 55 degrees Celsius
  • cook food below 54.5 degrees Celsius for a maximum of six hours
  • cool food quickly in slush ice or specialised equipment, and
  • use equipment that has accurate temperature control and heating capacity.
The popular style of French cooking, sous vide.