I recently purchased a chocolate melter from TCF sales.I am currently using Mercken's compound melts in this melter.
We are extremely happy with the increased productivity, but our health inspector expressed concern at the contents sitting at 100 degrees being in the "danger zone". I always understood this to apply to raw or cooked temperature sensitive foods (meats, eggs, etc). I always understood chocolate and compounds were not TSF (temperature sensitive food) by point of food safety. I have never seen chocolate or compounds to be a concern for bacterial growth as long as the product is not contaminated by another substance.
When we use this melter, a sanitized dipper is used to scoop compound out. The compoud is NEVER introduced back to the melter once it has been used, and only sanitized utensils over touch the melted chocolate. It is completely cleaned every-other day by washing the containers and replacing with fresh compound.
My concern is that my inspector is not familiar with confectionery as opposed to restaurant food safety requirements. We don't use food borne illness prone meats and other bacteria-prone agents. Unfortunately, I cannot find ANY documentation -- not even from ADM Cocoa (the maker of Mercken's) -- that will explicitly state that compound is not conducive to bacterial growth at 100 degrees consistent melted temperature; nor anything stating the contrary.
Does anyone happen to have expertise in this area that could help me locate any sort of back up that says what I'm doing is the right way? I know they wouldn't be able to sell these melters for commercial use if it were really true that storing chocolate or compound at 100 degrees for 4+ hours causes bacteria and food borne illness! I need something in writing though Any direction would be wonderful!
updated by @shannon-campbell: 04/20/15 03:35:46PM