Proper Food Temperatures Help Keep Food Safety Under Control

Meat Thermometer

In 2014, the CDC reported 864 foodborne illness outbreaks, which resulted in 13,246 illnesses, 712 hospitalizations, 21 deaths and 21 food recalls. As a restaurant operator, you don’t want any of your diners to be part of the CDC’s foodborne illness count – your dedication to food safety is crucial for each of your customers and employees. Plus, food safety violations can lead to deductions when the health inspector is on site. (To stay one step ahead, learn how to prepare for your next inspection by downloading our Health Inspection Guide.)

Temperature Control Graphic

To help protect the safety and health of restaurant patrons, encourage your employees to follow these food temperature guidelines:

  • Never leave food out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. If the temperature outdoors is above 90° F, food should not be left out more than one hour.

  • Maintain a temperature of 140°F or above for hot food. Place hot cooked food in chafing dishes, preheated steam tables, warming trays and/or slow cookers.

  • Keep cold food at a temperature of 40°F or below. Place food in containers on ice.

  • Foods should be reheated thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F or until hot and steaming.

For more ways to educate your staff on food safety, watch our 5 Common Food Safety Mistakes video and download the resource. To take food safety to another level, download our Health Inspection Guide to make sure you’re ready when the inspector arrives.

* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks, United States, 2014 Annual Report; May 2016

* International Association for Food Protection; Factors Impacting Food Workers’ and Managers’ Safe Food Preparation Practices: A Qualitative Study; 2005

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