slices and health department

so ive been against doing slices for a while but am breaking down and doing them :x i was wondering how you guys hold the pies? just on a speed cart? or some sort of hot box? i have NO room for a hot box and just wanted to have them baked and cooled on a speed cart. im worried that even though im reheating these to well above 140*, the health lady (who was a witch in a previous life im sure) isnt going to like room temp pies hanging out. am i being paranoid?

any thoughts?

Depends on your health inspector. Every department is different and every inspector within the department is different. We have ten locations in the same county over here and every store is hit up on different things and allowed to do different things. We’ve had a store do exactly what you wish to do for years with no problems at all. We stopped doing it because it makes more sense to display the slicers rather than hide them – we sell more. We only boxed pepperoni but I would be concerned about other meats like chicken or sausage sitting in a box.

I would try just boxing them for now and see how it goes. If the health inspector his you up you can then decide if its worth it or not to make room for a pizza warmer.

i know this may sound crazy, but we have had good luck here, calling the inspector and asking what they roccomend. they have always been helpful with us.


yeah, that’s crazy :stuck_out_tongue:

I do believe that you need to be reheating to 160F+ to meet the food safety code for reheated foods. I know that you can hold at lower temps for longer times, but the 160F is a quick and dirty number health inspectors like to use as it is only about 5 seconds at that temp.

It’s going to vary from one health dept to the next - I’ve had one say that you can can actually leave it at room temp for up to 3 hours (considered the “Danger Zone”), while another inspector (from the same city!) has told me they need to be tossed after one hour. I keep a tally sheet for when slice pies come out of the oven and try to adhere as close as I can to 1 hour, mainly as a quality issue. Reheated slices just are not as good once they’ve gone much beyond that point. I also make all my slice pies plain cheese & add toppings before reheating (limit of 2, otherwise you’ll burn the crust before the toppings get hot).

I’d contact the inspector & ask what her guideline is for doing slices - odds are that she’ll appreciate you being proactive on the subject.

nick you’re right, i was thinking of the TDZ of 40*-140*. what i was trying to say is that they would be reheated to a temp that would eliminate any unwanted “stuff”

i think ill try the health dept and see what they say. i actually have a good rapport with the head of the health department when we were trying to get open. i had a TON of questions and he saw that i was concerned with going by the codes. im sure he could help.

So long as you keep inside of the 4-hour rule you should be OK. This is how they get away with it in places like New York City where it is common to have the slices at room temperature.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor