Cooking Temperatures

Cooking Temperatures

As a business in the food industry it’s important that your team understand what temperature different food groups need to be cooked at to keep your customers safe.

Click on the link to get the USDA recommended safe minimum internal temperatures:

You must hit these temperatures and times as a minimum – A good control measure is setting their cooking temperatures at a higher level, for a longer time. Just to be safe!

Hot Holding Food

The most important rule is to keep food at a minimum of 135F or above.

It’s important to stir food regularly to make sure all parts of the food stays at this temperature.

Best Practices for hot holding

  1. 4 hours should be the maximum time you hold hot food
  2. Never add new food to old food! Make sure you throw the old food away, sanitize the serving dish/cutlery and replace with new food.

Best practices for re-heating food

  1. Only remove food from the cooler just before re-heating. The food must be re-heated to 165F for 15 seconds
  2. Never use hot holding equipment to re-heat food more than once. You must throw away food after it has been re-heated once.

Cooling Hot Food

Cooling hot food is the biggest cause of foodborne illness in America

As a company we believe that in most situations 2 hours (The FDA say 6) is too long for food to be left in the Temperature Danger Zone, we recommend doing this within 30 minutes.

Best practices for cooling hot food 

  • Whenever possible use large, shallow trays and pans (two to three inches deep) for cooling food, because the larger surface area helps to speed up the cooling process
  • Divide hot food into smaller or thinner portions
  • Use an ice bath. Transfer the hot food to a clean, cold container and place the container in a larger one that holds ice or water. Add new ice or cold water at regular intervals to speed up the process
  • Stir or rotate food while it is cooling
  • After removing cooked roasts and whole chickens from their juices, transfer the food to a clean, cold container with enough space for air to circulate and make sure it is covered
  • Cover and protect all food from cross-contamination while it is cooling
  • Keep regularly checking the temperature of the food to make sure you do not leave it in the Temperature Danger Zone longer than necessary
  • Never place hot food in a cooler as this will raise the temperature of the cooler and cause condensation that could cross-contaminate other foods

Never cool food at room temperature.

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