Temperature Requirements for Potentially Hazardous Foods
Safe Food is Good Business

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Temperature Requirements for Potentially Hazardous Foods
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Spanish Version: Requisitos de temperaturas para los alimentos potencialmente peligrosos

Disease causing bacteria can multiply rapidly in potentially hazardous foods if temperature controls are not used or are inadequate. The following time and temperature requirements must be met to ensure a safe food product.

Cold Holding Temperatures

    Cold foods must be maintained at 41º F. or less.

Frozen foods have no specific temperature requirement other than to remain frozen. It is recommended that frozen food be maintained at 0ºF. or less.

Cooking Temperatures

Eggs for immediate service, and except as otherwise required, fish, meat, and commercially raised game animals must be cooked to:

  • 145º F. or above for 15 seconds.

Chopped or ground meat, fish, and commercially raised game animals; pork; injected meats; and eggs cooked for hot holding must be cooked to:

  • 155º F. or above for 15 seconds, or
  • 150º F. or above for 1 minute, or
  • 145º F. or above for 3 minutes.

Poultry; stuffed food products; stuffing containing fish, meat or poultry and wild game animals must be cooked to:

  • 165º F. or above for 15 seconds.

Beef and corned beef roasts have specific temperature requirements based on oven type and weight of the roast. See "Cooking Beef and Corned Beef Roasts," which details these requirements.

Microwave Cooking

Foods cooked in a microwave must be cooked to 165º F. The product must be covered, and rotated or stirred during the cooking process. After cooking, allow the covered product to stand for two minutes prior to serving.

Hot Holding Temperatures

If hot holding of a cooked product is necessary, the food must be maintained at 140º F. or above. The exceptions are roasts which must be held at 130º F. or above.

Cooling of Foods

Foods must be cooled from 140º F. to 70º F. within two hours, and from 70º F. to 41º F. within an additional four hours. The goal is to cool foods as quickly as possible.

Reheating of Foods

Food that is reheated for hot holding must be reheated to an internal temperature of at least 165º F. for 15 seconds. Reheating must be done rapidly and the minimum temperature must be reached within two hours. Steam tables, warmers, or similar equipment do not heat food quickly enough and must not be used for reheating food. To reheat food in a microwave, use the same method as in microwave cooking.

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Updated Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 04:47PM