The bacteria that could make you sick starts to grow after two hours.
GREENSBORO, NC -- Restaurants deal with a lot rules we never think about in our own kitchens. One of those - changing out their cooking and serving utensils every two hours. Chef and culinary instructor Keith Gardiner says one of the problems with in-use utensils is that they get food build up on them. "The maximum amount of time food can be kept at room temperature is 4 hours," he says. Room temperature is the perfect condition for any bacteria that could make you sick to grow exponentially.
"If I'm using the same utensil over and over for two hours, I've allowed the bacteria to actually start growing on it for those two hours," he says. Some health departments want you to switch that out so you start with a new, clean utensil.
Keith says at GTCC in their kitchens, they store their their utensils in sanitizer solution in-between each use to prevent potential problems.
Restaurants can lose up to one point for not changing out their utensils every two hours.