- The process of cooking is to raise the temperature of food to kill bacteria and other types of harmful pathogens/microorganisms/bacteria to a level where food is safe to eat. If the temperature of a food does not reach the temperature needed to kill the pathogens, a person consuming the food may become ill from foodborne illness. The temperatures required to kill pathogens vary depending on the type of food.
- The most important procedure for ensuring that pathogens are reduced to safe levels is cooking potentially hazardous/TCS food to their recommended minimum internal temperatures.
- Cook food to the proper minimum internal temperature for 15 seconds. 15 sec. is the “kill time” to help ensure harmful pathogens are killed.
165°F for 15 seconds to be safe to eat
- Poultry (chicken, duck, turkey and goose), must reach a temperature of 165°F for 15 sec.
- Stuffed food like filled pasta.
- Microwave oven – When cooking or reheating food using a microwave follow these steps:
Cover food, rotate or stir halfway through cooking, heat to internal temperature of 165°F and allow standing covered for 2 minutes after cooking.
- Reheating – Previously cooked food must reach to at least 165°F for at least 15 sec.
in less than 2 hours.
155°F for 15 seconds to be safe to eat
- Foods that are ground, chopped or minced must reach a temperature 155°F for 15 sec. For example ground beef (hamburger patties), veal, and ground pork (sausage). Also chopped or minced fish.
- Raw shell eggs – Preparing raw shell eggs that will be held and NOT served immediately such as eggs being held on a buffet.
145°F for 15 seconds to be safe to eat
- Whole cuts of beef, pork or fish must reach a temperature of 145°F for 15 sec. Also prime rib and pork chops.
- Raw shell eggs cooked for immediate service.
135°F to be safe to eat
- Hot food should be held at 135°F or above.
- 41°F-135°F is the Temperature Danger Zone. To prevent harmful pathogens/bacteria from growing to unsafe levels, keep foods at 41°F or below or 135°F or above. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
- The temperature for cooked vegetables and fruit must reach 135°F to be safe to eat.
- The minimum temperature required by the Health Department to maintain food on a steam is 135°F.
Temperatures For Cooling, Thawing and Receiving
Two-step process for cooling previously cooked food like chili.
1. Food is cooled from 135°F to 70°F within TWO hours.
2. 70°F to 41°F in an additional FOUR hours for a total cooling time of SIX hours.
Thawing PHF/TCS Food:
- 41°F Thaw food under refrigeration at 41°F or lower is the safest method to thaw frozen food.
- 70°F Thaw food submerged in running potable water at a temperature of 70°F or lower.
- 41°F Receiving – The temperature for receiving PHF/TCS food with several *exceptions.
*45°F The exceptions for receiving PHF/TCS food at 45°F are milk, shellfish and shell eggs.
- 41°F The maximum temperature of food held in a refrigeration unit.
- 32°F The temperature that water freezes. Ice-point method for calibration.
- 98.6F The usual body temperature of a human being.
- 212°F The temperature that water boils. Boiling point for calibration.
- 100°F The temperature of water for handwashing should reach at least 100°F.
Washing/cleaning vs sanitizing
- Washing/cleaning is the process of removing food or other types of contamination on utensils and other equipment used to prepare or serve food.
- Rinsing is the process of removing the residuals of chemical cleaners from plates,
utensils and other equipment used to prepare or serve food.
- Sanitize is the process of eliminating 99.9999% of bacteria and other types of microbes from plates, utensils and other equipment used to prepare or serve food.
- 180°F High temperature machines rely on hot water (not chemicals) to clean and sanitize. High temperature machines (conveyor machines) final sanitizing rinse temp. must be at least 180°F.
- 120°F Chemical sanitizing machines –
The temperature the water in a dishwashing machine must reach 120°F when sanitizing with a chemical sanitizer.
2 methods to sanitize in a 3 compartment sink are heat and chemicals.
- 171°F Heat – When using hot water to sanitize the water temperature must reach at least 171°F.
- 75°F Chemical – The temperature water needs to reach using chemicals to sanitize using (not hot water).
- 110°F The temperature required for the first compartment sink. This water must also be clean and soapy.