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Safe Holding Temp for butter

jcattles Sep 21, 2008 11:34 AM

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. Chris VR RE: jcattles Sep 21, 2008 12:02 PM

    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. m
      mattyjaco RE: jcattles Sep 21, 2008 12:06 PM

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

      1. b
        bulavinaka RE: jcattles Sep 21, 2008 12:18 PM

        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
          OCAnn RE: bulavinaka Sep 22, 2008 10:50 PM

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

        2. KaimukiMan RE: jcattles Sep 22, 2008 07:46 PM

          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.

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            mpalmer6c RE: jcattles Sep 22, 2008 10:22 PM

            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
              aynrandgirl RE: mpalmer6c Sep 23, 2008 12:19 AM

              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.

            2. b
              bulavinaka RE: jcattles Sep 22, 2008 10:43 PM

              I recall another poster mentioning that (I think she) places the wrapped butter under her thigh when first seated. A few minutes later, the butter is good to go. I guess the trick would be to remember that one left it there; otherwise, bad news for your clothes and the upholstery...

              1 Reply
              1. re: bulavinaka
                jodymaryk RE: bulavinaka Sep 24, 2008 07:00 PM

                In most states all dairy (and most everything else "cold") must be at 40 degrees or below by board of health standards

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                cyberroo RE: jcattles Sep 25, 2008 12:32 PM

                I know that in Los Angeles this is a Health Department issue, and I'd assume pretty much everywhere else in the U.S. as well, although enforcement likely varies. So don't blame the restaurant, blame the BOH.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cyberroo
                  jlbwendt RE: cyberroo Sep 25, 2008 12:36 PM

                  Back of the house, or board of health?

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