The USDA publishes temperature guidelines for food holding and cooking. You can use your Thermapen to check temperatures and minimize food-borne illness in your kitchen. Bacteria thrive between the temperatures of 40°F (4.5°C) and 140°F (60°C).
Food should not be stored between these temperatures for extended periods of time. Some leftover foods must be reheated to minimum temperatures to assure sufficient “kill rates” of bacteria or parasites.
Here’s a handy table:
Food Safety Temperatures
|Holding hot foods||140°F (60°C) or higher|
|Holding cold foods||less than 41°F (5°C)|
|Fridge temperature||40°F (4.5°C) or colder|
|Freezer temperature||0°F (-18°C) to -10°F (-23°C)|
For chef-recommended temperatures as well as critical food-safe temperatures for meats and other foods, see the many tables at Chef-Recommended, ThermoWorks-Approved.