What is deep fat frying?
Also known as ‘deep frying’, this is a type of cooking where food is fully submerged in a very hot fat or oil, usually in a deep fryer.
Deep fat frying often gets a bad rap. The media often lambasts it as a sure way to increase your cholesterol and expand your waistline. Whilst excess in anything is never a good thing, deep fat fried food may be one of the safest forms of take away food available on the market today.
Given the current climate of heightened hygiene and food considerations in the wake of the coronavirus, this post will explore the benefits of deep frying in upholding both our food hygiene standards and our spirits.
Deep fried food and health
Diet fads come and go, but the noble Great British chip has remained a national staple for centuries. Apart from being lip-smackingly delicious, deep fried foods from your local chippy can be one of the lowest risk options when looking to enjoy a take-out meal.
There are many good reasons to explain the long-lasting popularity of deep fried food, in addition to its obvious deliciousness. It also has an impeccable background in food safety.
In the past, when people had less access to clean food and water, being able to buy and deep fry food was a significant health benefit. Buying fried food that reached you moments after an all-over, bug-killing immersion in hot oil was (and still is) a great safety tip.
Additional advantages of deep fat frying
- Quick and easy method of cooking
- Convenient with little preparation required
- Minimal loss of food quality as hot fat seals the food surface
- Adds attractive colour and flavour to food
What is a disadvantage of deep-frying?
Sometimes if large amounts of cooking is done, getting rid of used oil can be challenging. There are companies that offer oil management as a service who will remove used oil for you, and can also supply you with 100% fully sustainable frying oil.
The growing importance of food hygiene
In recent times, food hygiene has not been something that many of us have been concerned about, mainly because it has been taken for granted for so long.
We can see all the food hygiene ratings on the walls and windows of shops and restaurants, and we know we are safe. But who could’ve predicted, even as recently as January 2020, how hygiene would be front page news and on the lips of people around the world for weeks on end?
How fried foods can help
If you think about the process your food goes through in a chippy – the potatoes, fish, batter, etc. – it’s all prepared by chefs well trained in food hygiene, just as they are in any restaurant.
However, a key advantage of deep fried food is that the food is fully immersed in 170-180°C fat for several minutes. Food experts would agree that this immersion is going to kill off approximately 99.9% of bacteria and, more importantly given current circumstances, viruses. This is particularly the case on the surface of food (where most bacteria, viruses and other germs are likely to be) as temperatures will be at their highest.
Handling of deep fat fried foods
Immediately after frying, the food is either stored in a covered hot box or instantly wrapped up and completely covered, all while the fryer uses tongs, chip shovels and other frying utensils to minimise contact with the food.
Any germ would have its work cut out to get around these food hygiene precautions!
Food hygiene tips for deep fat fryers
It’s crucial that contact between the cooked food, people and surfaces is kept to an absolute minimum.
- Only thoroughly cleaned utensils should be used to touch food.
- No cooked food (or food-contact packaging) should be left on exposed surfaces without being covered.
- While we cope with the current coronavirus pandemic, there should ideally only ever be one or two customers in the shop at any one time.
- Phone ordering should be encouraged, with customers waiting outside until their order is ready to collect.
- Encourage your customers to take their food home, tempting as it may be to tuck into their chips early. Stress the importance of taking their food home closed, where they can wash their hands before enjoying a hygienic but deliciously indulgent meal.
All takeaway businesses are going to be taking great precautions as we overcome the coronavirus, but we know that we feel most comfortable relying on deep frying as a hygienic cooking method, which has endured through the centuries for very good reasons.
Frymax is the UK’s leading supplier of deep fat fryer oil. We provide high-quality, sustainable palm oil to restaurants all over the country. Get in touch for more information.