1. Food
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Key Food Handling Temperatures

Keep Food Out of the Temperature Danger Zone


Food temperature danger zone
LeoGrand / Getty Images

The Food Temperature Danger Zone

The Food Temperature Danger Zone is a range of temperatures that promotes the growth of the bacteria that cause food poisoning. The table below illustrates the Food Temperature Danger Zone and other key temperatures for safe food handling.

And if you want to be able to measure temperatures, you're going to need an instant-read thermometer.
165°F and higher: Most bacteria die within several seconds
141°F to 164°F: Holding hot foods and sauces. Bacteria aren't killed, but they don't multiply, either.
40°F to 140°F:
Food Temperature Danger Zone
Bacteria thrive and multiply. Limit exposure of perishable foods to one hour or less.
33°F to 39°F: Refrigerated food storage. Bacteria aren't killed. They multiply, but relatively slowly. Food is safe here for a limited time.
32°F and lower: Frozen food storage: Bacteria aren't killed, but they don't multiply, either.
  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Culinary Arts
  4. Culinary Arts Basics
  5. Safety & Sanitation
  6. Key Food Handling Temperatures

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.