Key Values

Numeric Value Description
±2° Thermometers must be accurate to ±2°
±3°F Thermometers in walk-in must be accurate to ±3°
2 hrs. The maximum amount of time to cool food to 70°
4 hrs. The maximum time gloves can be worn
with constant use.
4 hrs. The maximum amount of time to cool food to 41°
assuming it took 2 hrs. to cool it to  70°
4 hrs. Equipment, utensils, and food contact surfaces must
be washed, rinsed, and sanitized after 4 hours of constant use.
4 hrs. Hot food can be held without temperature control
for up to four hours
4 in. Tabletop equipment must be on legs at least 4 inches
high unless equipment is sealed to countertop/table.
6 hrs. Cold food can be held without temperature control
for up to  6 hours. (conditions apply)
6 hrs. Total time to cool food to 41°
(2 hrs to cool to 70° +  4 hrs to cool to 41°)
6 in. Floor-mounted equipment must be on legs at least
6 inches high unless equipment is sealed to floor.
7 sec. Immersion time for Chlorine sanitizer.
7 in. Sneeze guards must extend 7 inches beyond the food.
7 days Maximum time food items prepped on site
can be stored. (conditions apply)
10-15 sec. Time required to scrub hands and arms.
14 in. Sneeze guards must extend 14 inches above food.
20 sec. The whole process of washing hands should take
at least 20 seconds.
30 sec. Immersion time when using hot water, iodine, or
quats sanitizing methods.
≤32°F. (0°C.) Temperature at which frozen foods must be kept
41°F (5°C.) Low end of the temperature danger zone (41° – 135°).
41° Cold TCS food must be received at 41° or lower,
unless otherwise specified.
45° Food items that can be received at 45°:
Live shellfish, shucked shellfish, milk, shell eggs
70° Maximum temperature allowed when thawing food
under running water
70° Low end of critical danger zone (70 – 125)
100° Minimum temperature required to wash hands
110° Minimum water temperature required when washing in
a  three-compartment sink
125° High end of critical danger zone.  (70 – 125)
135° High end of temperature danger zone.
135° Fruit, vegetables, grains (rice, pasta), and legumes
(beans, refried beans) that will be hot held for service.
145° (4 min) Roasts of pork, beef, veal and lamb.
145° (15 sec.) Steaks/chops of pork, beef, veal, and lamb
Seafood – including fish, shellfish, and crustaceans
155° (15 sec.) Ground meat – including beef, pork, and other meat.
Injected meat – including brined ham and flavor-injected roasts.
165° (15 sec.) Poultry – including whole or ground chicken, turkey, or duck.
Stuffing made with fish, meat, or poultry.
165° The temperature of the final sanitizing rinse in
a stationary rack, single-rack machine.
165° Food item cooked in a microwave must be cooked
to an internal temperature of 165° for immediate service.
171° Minimum temperature required when hot water
sanitizing in a three -compartment sink.
180° The temperature of the final sanitizing rinse in a high-temperature
continuous-feed machine must be 180°
41°- 135° Temperature danger zone.
70°-125° Critical temperature danger zone.
50 ft. candles Minimum lighting intensity for prep areas
20 ft. candles Minimum lighting intensity for hand washing  or dishwashing areas,
buffets and salad bars, displays for produce or packaged food, utensil-
10 ft. candles Minimum lighting intensity for inside walk-in coolers
and freezers, dry-storage areas, dining rooms.