Which Hot-Held Food Is In The Temperature Danger Zone?

The temperature danger zone is a range of temperatures in which food can harbor bacteria and other harmful organisms. The article will explain “Which Hot-Held Food Is In The Temperature Danger Zone?” The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)Opens in a new tab. has identified the following as the temperature danger zones:

132 degrees Fahrenheit to 141 degrees.

Foods in this range are safe for about an hour.

  • Foods that are cooked to this temperature are safe for about an hour. For example, if you bake chicken at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until it’s cooked, it will be safe from bacteria growth for an hour (assuming no cross-contamination).
  • Foods cooked to a higher temperature (such as baked chicken) can last up to 3 hours. If you take the same piece of chicken out of the oven after 1 hour and then put it back in after 2 hours, it will still be OK to eat (again, assuming no cross-contamination).

68 degrees to 125 degrees

  • If the temperatures of your food are between 68 degrees and 125 degrees, it’s considered safe for eating. However, you should eat it within one to two hours (68-70 degrees), two to four hours (72-74 degrees), or four to five hours (76-77 degrees).
  • When the temperature gets above 125 degrees, bacteria can start to grow. The same is true for food sitting out for more than five hours.

140 degrees to 145 degrees

The temperature danger zone is between 140 degrees and 145 degrees.

  • It’s important to note that, left unattended for too long, foods in the temperature danger zone can cause foodborne illness, even if they look and smell normal. You must manage the time and temperature together to prevent foodborne illness.

Between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit, food is dangerous.

The temperature danger zone is the range of temperatures in which foods are susceptible to bacterial growth. Therefore, food should be cooled quickly and reheated safelyOpens in a new tab. to eliminate this risk.

You should keep hot-held foods (foods storedOpens in a new tab. between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit) at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold-held food must stay below 41 degrees Fahrenheit, as these specific temperatures prevent the growth of bacteria like SalmonellaOpens in a new tab.Staphylococcus aureusOpens in a new tab.Listeria monocytogenesOpens in a new tab.Escherichia coli O157:H7 (Eco157)Opens in a new tab.Cronobacter sakazakiiOpens in a new tab. (Cronos), Vibrio parahaemolyticusOpens in a new tab., and Clostridium perfringensOpens in a new tab..

What Exactly Is a TCS Food?

TCS is an abbreviation for “time/temperature control safety.” TCS foods are foods that must adhere to stringent guidelines regarding both their time and temperature of preparation. TCS meals offer a favorable environment for the growth and spread of pathogens, which is why pathogens enjoy eating them. 

Therefore, the crucial food safety technique of preventing TCS foods from reaching the danger zone or becoming time-temperature-misused is something that you should never overlook. The following are the TCS foods that provide high risk and should be checked carefully at all times:

Food in the temperature danger zone

  • Milk as well as other dairy items
  • Meat and fowl products
  • Everything from fish and shellfish to crustaceans
  • Shell eggs
  • Baked potatoes
  • Cooked rice, beans, and vegetables
  • Tofu, soy protein, and various other meat substitutes derived from plants
  • Sprouts and seeds for sprouting
  • Prepare the tomatoes, melons, and leafy greens by cutting them.
  • Garlic and oil concoctions that have not been handled.

What is the danger zone in cooking?

The temperature range of 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit (4-60 degrees Celsius) is considered the danger zone because germs grow and thrive in this range. Therefore, it is essential to your food supply’s safety to remove perishable items from the “risk zone” as soon as possible. Keep the hot foods hot and the cold items cold. To avoid having your perishable items languish in potentially hazardous temperatures, cook them to an appropriate internal temperature.

What is the appropriate holding temp for hot foods?

The temperature must be 135 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for hot items to be held safely. The following are some safety precautions that should be taken when handling hot foods: Never reheat food using equipment designed for holding heat. Before being stored, food ought to be cooked to the appropriate temperatures.

Why is it important to know the temperature danger zone?

It is essential to have a solid awareness of food safety temperatures when working in the commercial foodservice industry to keep your customers safe from foodborne illnesses. Every person who works with food or operates machinery is accountable for understanding the significance of the temperature danger zone and must be educated to carry out the protocols that have been setOpens in a new tab. for ensuring food safety.

Why is it important to keep perishable foods below 140°F?

You should store perishable foods at temperatures higher than 60 degrees Celsius (above 140 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit (less than 4 degrees Celsius) to prevent the growth of hazardous microorganisms. The temperature range from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 to 60 degrees Celsius) is considered the temperature danger zone. This temperature range is ideal for the growth of bacteria and other infectious agents.


The temperature danger zone is crucial for restaurants, food trucks, and other businesses dealing with hot-held food. This zone refers to temperatures between 41 degrees Fahrenheit and 135 degrees Fahrenheit where bacteria can multiply and cause foodborne illness. Understanding this zone and how long your product stays in it will help you ensure that all customers have a safe dining experience with their meals.


Charles is a freelance writer whose areas of expertise include home renovation, gardening, and design. A graduate with a degree in Digital Marketing and Business Management. Charles is currently a freelance writer. Charles is always typing away on his laptop or tackling his newest home improvement project. He likes to spend quality time with his family, riding, and working out at the gym.

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