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Handling Food Safely

In order to prevent foodborne illness, we take every precaution to ensure that food is handled safely and kept at the proper temperatures.  However proper food handling must continue after the food has been delivered to the customer.  Here are some steps that you as the customer can take to be sure you are serving safe food. 


Hot Food:


  1. As soon as the food has reached its proper internal temperature, we will hold the food at that temperature until it is either picked up by the customer or transferred to a hot box for delivery.  Hot food should be served immediately or transferred to hot holding equipment such as a chafer or crockpot.  Both of these items are available for use at no extra charge. 

  2. Food held in a chafer should be monitored every four hours that it is holding at a temperature of at least 145 degrees. Checking the temperature every two hours instead of four would allow time for corrective action should the food need to be reheated. 

  3. Food should be covered to ensure it remains at 145 degress and to prevent contaminants from entering the food.  

  4. If you plan on holding food without temperature control, the food must start at at least 165 degrees and be held no longer than four hours. Monitor the time and discard any food held over 4 hours. 

  5. If you order cooked food with the intention of cooling and reheating for serving at a later time, the food must be refrigerated and be reheated to 165 degrees. Never try to reheat the food in the holding equipment. This equipment will not heat food quickly enough to the proper temperature. Always reheat in an oven or stove. 


Cold Food:


  1. Cold food should be held at 41 degrees or lower. 

  2. Cold food held without temperature control should be held no longer than four hours from the time it was removed from refrigeration. 

  3. Cold food should never reach a temperature higher than 70 degrees. Throw out any food that exceeds this temperature.

  4. Discard food left after four hours. 


*Times and temperatures listed are based on the 2013 FDA Food Code. These may differ slightly from the requirements of local agencies.  Always wash hands when serving food and avoid serving food if you are ill.  


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