Danger zone (food safety)

Danger zone (food safety)
Food safety
Food Safety 1.svg
Foodborne illness
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
Critical control point
Critical factors
Food, acidity, time, temperature, oxygen and moisture
Water activity (aw)
Clostridium botulinum
E. coli
Hepatitis A
Parasitic infections
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The temperature range in which food borne bacteria can grow is known as the danger zone. According to the 2009 U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Code, the danger zone is defined as 41°F - 135°F (5°C - 57°C). [1] However, other jurisdictions consider the danger zone between 40°F - 140°F (5°C - 58°C). [2] Potentially hazardous food should not be stored at temperatures in this range in order to prevent foodborne illness, and food that remains in this zone for more than four hours must be discarded. Foodborne microorganisms grow much faster in the middle of the zone, at temperatures between 70°F and 135°F (21°C and 52°C). Clostridium perfringens and Bacillus cereus grow very rapidly in food in the danger zone and cause different illnesses. Time and temperature control plays a critical role in food safety. To prevent time-temperature abuse, minimize the amount of time food spends in the danger zone. [3]


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