How to End Temperature Abuse

How to End Temperature Abuse


With takeout and delivery becoming more and more popular as people limit the time they spend out of the house, we are going to look at Temperature Abuse, and some good ways to stop it from happening.


What is Temperature Abuse?

Temperature abuse happens when cooked food is left out at room temperature for too long, and the temperature of the food drops into the “Temperature Danger Zone”!


What is the Temperature Danger Zone?

The temperature danger zone is the temperature range in which food-borne bacteria can grow. The FDA says the temperature ranges from 40 °F - 140 °F

When food is in between these 2 temperatures bacteria can double every 20 minutes. The longer the food is left in the danger zone, the more the pathogens will multiply.


How does food end up in the Temperature Danger Zone?

  1.        Food not cooked to the correct internal temperature

If food is undercooked, then this can lead to food being in the temperature danger zone.

If you are unsure of cooking temperatures check out our information sheet by clicking here.


  1.        Food not held at the proper temperature –

Holding food at the correct temperature can be a challenge especially when it comes to delivery.

It’s important that your delivery drivers understand the importance of keeping the food at the correct temperature.


  1.        Incorrect cooling or reheating of food

Food that is reheated must reach a minimum internal temperature of at least 165 F for 15 seconds. Reheating must be done rapidly, and the minimum temperature must be reached within two hours (although we recommend as soon as possible.)

Freezing food must be stored at a temperature of 41F or below. Like reheating this must be done within 2 hours of cooking, but ideally as soon as possible.


 Ways to stop Temperature Abuse

The main way to guard against Temperature Abuse is to give your staff the correct tools to monitor the temperature of your food, both in and out of your establishment.

It is your responsibility to provide the correct equipment and training to your staff.


Make sure that your staff understands the process from start to finish when it comes to stopping temperature abuse:

  • What to do
  • How to do it
  • What corrective action to take


  •   Thermometers – Make sure everyone in your organization who needs access to a thermometer has one.


This way food can be checked from the kitchen to the customer.

  •   Temperature Logs – Make sure that your staff can write down the food temperatures, to make others aware of the food that has been cooked.

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