So I understand that cooking sous vide has a potentially high risk of botulism due to the anaerobic environment (vacuum). As such, you need to be careful with time and temp combinations. If you are storing food for service later, you need to flash chill it and then keep it in a fridge below 4C. This is easy enough at a restaurant with a walk-in, but is somewhat difficult in a home fridge as opening the door creates wide temperature swings.
Douglas Baldwin proposes the following temperature / time guideline for "safe" wrt botulism:
[S]pores of Clostridium botulinum, C. perfringens and B. cereus can all survive the mild heat treatment of pasteurization. Therefore, after rapid chilling, the food must either be frozen or held at
below 36.5°F (2.5°C) for up to 90 days,
below 38°F (3.3°C) for less than 31 days,
below 41°F (5°C) for less than 10 days, or
below 44.5°F (7°C) for less than 5 days
So a couple of questions about those guidelines:
- How big should I expect the swings in my home fridge to be with normal usage?
- If I have a second fridge and the door rarely opens, what will the temperature swings be there?
- Since the botulism concern is due to the vacuum, am I correct in thinking that this concern will disappear if I remove the meat from the vacuum to store it? Obviously, this approach would reintroduce all the normal safety concerns with storing cooked meat.