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Sep 21, 2008 11:34 AM

Safe Holding Temp for butter

Does anyone know why restaurants serve such cold, hard pats of butter alongside bread? Isn't there a safe tempurature that they can be held at, so they are softer and more spreadable? That's one of my pet peeves when dining out. I enjoy butter on my bread, but not if it tears the bread up while trying to spread it.

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  1. Having worked with the local Board of Health on a few issues, I would absolutely bet there's a BOH approved temperature for dairy product storage, and it's below the temperature where butter is easily spreadable. I don't know what temperature that is, but I can bet it's something an establishment could be cited for if the butter were stored at the wrong temperature.

    1. simple, because you would eat more, if you eat more bread you purchase less food

      1. You might be interested in this product. I remember seeing it in one of Taunton Press's publications a few years back...

        1 Reply
        1. re: bulavinaka

          I use a butterbell during the non-summer months. Works like a charm.

        2. i doubt it would be worthwhile for a restaurant to keep a separate refrigerator just for butter. To be spreadable (based on my experience...not science) it needs to be someplace around 60 degrees or a little more, and under around 80. If left out in most commercial kitchens it would be way too soft. Possibly a wine cooler set to the maximum temperature (around 56-60) could be used, but i suspect there are health regulations as well as Chris mentioned.

          1. Health regulations aside, if you open a packet of spreadable butter, your fingers get quite greasy. Also, kept in a warm place the butter will get rancid.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mpalmer6c

              Kept at room temperature it takes a *long* time (a couple of months in my experience) for butter to get rancid. If you use butter with any regularity you will consume it before then. I expect that restaurants turn over their butter frequently enough that it wouldn't be a problem.