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Pho gets sour after a day?  

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In our restaurant, our pho gets a chua/sour taste but it isn't a spoiled sour. Any ideas on why it is like that? 

We finish the pot then let it cool and then store it into our cooler but the next day we take it out it has a slight sourness or abnormal flavor that we didn't have before but it isn't a spoiled sourness which is confusing us.

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Joined: 12 years ago

Pho Restaurant Consultant
Posts: 447

@aivothom Since you've already determined your broth is not spoiled, everything anyone can give you is just conjecture. It's like someone saying "my car doesn't start, but there's nothing wrong with it. Why doesn't it start?"

All that said, if you can provide more specific detail on your process, time to cool, method to cool, and any other relevant facts then I'd be more than happy to help diagnose the problem and find a cure for it.

Since this is for your restaurant operation, I suggest you sign up for the Premium level to get restaurant level support. Asking business questions in a casual, open forum may not get you the info you need to run a business. Worse yet you may get incorrect answers that may hurt your business even more.

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Your message didn't provide much detail so here are a few generic points.

  • Time and temp control: If you know how to do time and temp control, have been doing it, and this is the first time this problem occurs, then it's hard to say what the problem is without knowing more specific details.
  • Depending on where you are located, summer time can be very hot, and it will take much longer time to cool the pot (you didn't say how big/how much broth), so if you sit outside longer to cool then you might be breaking the time and temp control parameters.
  • Since the sour taste is not spoiled food taste (again assuming you correctly diagnose this) you should at least consider sabotage as a potential causes.
  • You didn't say if this happened once, several times or consistently, or during certain period of time. Info about these may help diagnose the problem for you.

That's about it from me. Someone else may chime in. I know Cuong is going to ask a bunch of questions about your situation. For a unique situation such as this, a much more detailed analysis of your process and procedure may be needed. You may want to join the Premium level to get restaurant level answers.

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You didn't say 1) how many gallons you are making, 2) your cooling method (passive or active cooling), 3) whether you check temperature at different time, and 4) whether you have just a small reaching cooler or a large walk-in. Therefore it's hard to give any useful suggestions. Also it's not clear whether you taste sourness when it's cold out of the cooler or after you heat it up, but my experience is you can't accurately taste food when it's cold. Based on the info provided that's pretty much all I can guess.

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I hope you don't serve these to customers. ? 

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Joined: 10 months ago

From my experience, this is sign of spoilage that happened before the broth is even put in the cooler. Many people don't realize there are right ways and wrong ways to "let it cool" at room temperature, but if this is restaurant/business volume then food safety/health department guidelines are the best to follow.