What is food safety temperatures?
When storing your food, consider the temperatures your items will experience. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food should be stored at temperatures between 0F and 140F. Any meat, poultry, or other perishable food should be kept at the lowest coldest part of your fridge, with the door open, and away from any heat sources. The temperatures below which food will not spoil are considered its safe storage or food safety temperatures. These temperatures will ensure that you will have food safe from harmful bacteria and other microbes. However, these internal temperatures are not the same for all foods. Instead, the temperatures at which a particular food will not spoil are different for almost every food.
A Guide On What You Need to Know About Food Safety Temperatures
Why is knowing how to identify food safety temperatures important?
Perishable food items must be kept at a certain cold temperature to inhibit bacterial growth. Even so, these foods can be cooked enough to kill the growth of bacteria. Controlling the external and internal temperature is extremely important to ensure food safety. Be it hot food, cooked food, fresh fruits, ground meat, egg dishes, yolk white firm, cold foods, etc. food safety temperature is important to make sure for each of these.
Here is the why?
It helps you to prevent the spread of salmonella, listeria, and other harmful bacteria.
It increases the efficiency of the restaurant kitchen and improve food safety.
Checking temperature every 2 hours allows you a great window to take corrective action as and when necessary.
Using this, you can monitor the changes required for ensuring Food Safety at an early stage.
What are the different food safety temperatures?
Restaurant owners understand how crucial it is to maintain adequate food safety temperature to save it from spoiling. Food handlers must be aware in advance of different food safety temperature ranges including danger zone. Now, what is a danger zone? It is the temperature range wherein the growth of bacteria occurs most speedily. Between 41-to-135-degree Fahrenheit, food is said to be in a danger zone. At this temperature, food may appear normal in color but the smell and heavy presence of harmful bacteria will cause foodborne illness. Now, here the big responsibility lies with restaurant owners to save food using chill or heat. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your fridge and the temperature of your food frequently. Other than cross-contamination, temperature abuse is a major cause of food-borne illness. It occurs when-
- Food is not stored at a safe temperature
- Hot food was not allowed to cool enough before freezing.
- Food was not heated enough to kill the possible presence of pathogens.
- food handling with inappropriate methods.
It's a lot of work to make sure you're following food safety guidelines
You can protect yourself and those around you by learning about food safety temperature
Refrigeration strategies for food safety temperatures
Once the food is cooked at the right internal temperature, you need to hold it for the right temperature before serving it. Several times, you may need to hold it for a longer time like in buffet lines, salad bars, or during transportation or catering events. The food that requires the most attention to storage temperatures is perishable, such as dry goods, nutrients, and raw meat and poultry. The temperature of the food you store can directly affect the safety of your food.
Cold Food Holding Temperature-
Keeping your food at the perfect storage temperature is essential to preventing food-borne illness. Refrigerators and freezers are used to chill or store food safely so that it maintains a low temperature. For example, under-refrigeration can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria, while over-refrigeration can cause food to spoil more quickly. When temperatures fluctuate, they can also lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and parasites. Refrigerators and freezers should be set at the correct temperature, and then left alone unless they are being used. Check the points below-
- Make sure that food is stored at 40-degree F and below
- Any food removed from above said low temperature is safe for a maximum of 6 hours
- Keep tracking temperature after every 2 hours and if it is found more than 70-degree F, discard it.
Hot Food Holding Temperature
As studies say, a suitable temperature for hot foods storage is 135-degree F and above. However, at the temperature above this, food can lose its taste and get spoiled. Keep these storage hints in mind-
- Don't use holding utensils for heating the food. In this case, your food will not reach adequate heat and pathogens may like to survive.
- Keep the hot food covered to avoid temperature loss for a long time.
- While heating, stir the food adequately to spread the heat evenly.
- In case, hot food is left at 135-degree F or below for longer than 4 hours then discard it.
- Never mix freshly prepared food with already cooked food to avoid cross-contamination.
- Keep a check on temperature after two hours interval for Food Safety advance.
What is the temperature danger zone?
It is the temperature range wherein the growth of bacteria occurs most speedily. Between 41-to-135-degree Fahrenheit, food is said to be in a danger zone. Moreover, a temperature between 70- and 125-degree Fahrenheit is the most ideal for bacteria to thrive. The longer the food will be at this temperature, the higher the bacterial growth would be. Studies say that food if kept longer than 4 hours in a danger zone must be thrown. Within 4 hours at this room temperature, it can be reheated, chilled, or consumed. It better is to check the temperature every 2 hours to take corrective measures timely. When time and temperature is controlled for food safety, we call it TCS Food. For instance- cheese, milk, poultry, seafood, cut leafy greens and salad items.
However, food can still get spoiled even at a safe temperature. A disease-causing microorganism or bacteria slow their spread during refrigeration but will still grow. At the mid-temperature range, they would multiple faster and at high temperature, they are killed. A food thermometer is essential to use to ensure the temperature range of various products's Food Safety.
Food types and temperature ranges for food safety
Food is essential to our survival and well-being. It is one of the basic needs and we cannot do without it. When we talk about food, we are usually referring to the finished product and not the raw materials that go into its production. There are many different ways to prepare and eat food and this has led to the creation of many different cuisines. The foods available to us can be divided into five major groups- fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and dairy products. The foods in these five groups vary according to their nutritional content and the types of enzymes, minerals, and vitamins that they contain. The five major food groups also differ in terms of their storage time, temperature, and the risk of food poisoning that they pose. Understanding which foods require refrigeration and which do not is an important Food Safety component. Below is the safest storage temperature limit for different food types-
Most fresh fruits and vegetables- 4.4C or Below; or Frozen at 0CDairy Products- 4.4C or Below; or Frozen at 0C
Ground Meat- 4.4C or Below; or Frozen at 0C
Egg Dishes- 4.4C or Below; or Frozen at 0C
Poultry- 4.4C or Below; or Frozen at 0C
It’s not just the people who work with food that need to know food safety temperatures
Our guide will help you learn about food safety temperatures, so you can cook and eat with peace of mind
Risks involved in consuming food stored at unsafe temperatures
You've likely had situations where you've left food out for a long time and when you finally go to eat it, it's either spoiled or not good anymore. Most of the time it's because the food has been stored at unsafe temperatures. Keeping your food at the right temperature is very important to save it from spoiling. Various factors determine the safe storage temperature of the food. Some of the factors that determine the safe storage temperature of the food include the time that you will keep the stored food, the type of food, the place where you will store the food, and the amount of time that you will help in food handling.
When viruses, bacteria, chemical agents, or parasites contaminate food, they can cause you to be trapped in a vicious cycle of various diseases. Such diseases are Norovirus, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, E. Coli, Toxoplasma Campylobacter, Staph, etc., which can range from a mild one to serious or even fatal.
How to keep your food safe?
Food is a big part of our lives. We eat together as a family; we cook for friends and we share pictures of our meals on social media. We go to the supermarket in search of the best deals and we trust the manufacturers to provide us with safe and nutritious food. Unfortunately, our standards for food safety have decreased in the past few decades. Infected ground meat, egg dishes, seafood, yolk white firm, and dairy are all too common and pose a serious risk to our health. The best way to keep your food safe is to keep it away from contamination and store it at the right temperature. Even though most of us take great care of our groceries, they can still be a source of contamination. Your food might have been in contact with other foods that are no longer safe. It could also have come into contact with bacteria and other microorganisms. Below are the ways to ensure food safety- Wash hands, clean kitchen surfaces, and cutting boards before use
Make sure that you order food from an authentic shopping cart
Use a food thermometer to check food temperatures regularly
Avoid beef pork veal lamb-based diet instead go for resources food
Keep safe minimum storage and internal temperature for food
Meanwhile, for transporting food, use food pan carrier or go for the insulating catering bags to make sure that your hot or cold food remains fit for consumption.
The CDC estimates that 48 million Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses each year
ZipChecklist’s guide will help you provide online resource that gives information on the risks associated with foodborne illness and how to avoid them