I see many French and Italian pastry shops displaying and serving pastries that are filled with creams and custards, but these were not stored in a display fridge.

Don't all these need fridges because of the dairy in them? Why is this practice so common and how come health inspectors allow this?

  • 3
    My guess would be that they display them only for a single day. The pastries are baked at some point in the morning, displayed and then sold on the same day. For that time frame room temperature storage is perfectly adequate.
    – quarague
    Apr 23, 2022 at 7:05
  • Maybe they should be using fridges, but the health department hasn't taken any action against them yet because nobody's gotten sick yet.
    – nick012000
    Apr 23, 2022 at 12:07
  • Sorry, we cannot answer why people (bakers or food inspectors) act in a certain way. A question you did not ask but may be answerable could be to ask what legal requirements apply to the cooling of a given food for commercial sellers. In that case, you would also have to say which jurisdiction is relevant to your question - and I cannot promise you that anybody on our site would have the knowledge to answer that.
    – rumtscho
    Apr 23, 2022 at 15:53
  • The recipes for these creams/custards may be quite different from what you expect, in order to make them safe to keep for the day without refridgeration. In particular, e.g. using starch instead of eggs to thicken the custard. (Don't know about these bakeries for sure, but a professional cook once told me when preparing "mousse au chocolate" for a buffet that no raw egg goes in there for food safety reasons) Apr 25, 2022 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


Roughly speaking, these confections will spoil more slowly than a glass of milk because they're not as wet.

Somewhat more specifically, most creams and custards contain a lot of sugar and/or butter, both of which will slow down spoilage.

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