Most bacteria are beneficial to humans, but some bacteria cause food to spoil, while others cause foodborne illness. It’s important to safely handle potentially hazardous foods such as meat, milk, cooked vegetables, cooked rice, poultry and seafood. Avoid holding such foods between 41 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit for more than four hours. If food stays in this temperature danger zone for too long, it can make people sick, even if reheated. To prevent foodborne illness, make sure workers practice good hygiene, wash their hands, avoid cross-contamination, use clean and sanitized utensils, and keep prepared foods hotter than 135 degrees Fahrenheit or colder than 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 2003-51110-01715, the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative of the Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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