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Safe Handling of Take-Out Foods | Ecolab Food Safety Solutions

CLICK FOR FREE DOWNLOAD: Safe Handling of Take-Out Foods flyer to print and include with your take-out orders.

Safe Handling of Take-Out Foods

Keep HOT Foods Hot!

Keep COLD Foods Cold!

If you are not eating the take-out or delivered food immediately, follow these guidelines to make sure the food remains safe for you to eat at a later time.

Safe handling of take-out foods

Hot Take-Out or Delivered Food

Once food is cooked it should be held hot at an internal temperature of 140 °F or above.

If you plan to eat at a later time, take-out or delivered food should be divided into smaller portions or pieces, placed in shallow containers, and refrigerated.

Cold/Refrigerated Take-Out or Delivered Food

Cold foods should be kept at 40°F or below.

Refrigerate perishable foods as soon as possible, always within 2 hours after purchase or delivery. If the food is in air temperatures above 90°F, refrigerate within 1 hour.


Discard all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and casseroles, left at room temperature longer than 2 hours. Some exceptions to this rule are foods such as cookies, crackers, bread, and whole fruits.

Whole roasts, hams, and turkeys should be sliced or cut into smaller pieces or portions before storing them in the refrigerator or freezer. Turkey legs, wings, and thighs may be left whole.
Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in shallow containers. Wrap or cover the food.

Proper food storage temperature Proper food storage temperature

Reheating Meals

Reheat foods containing meat or poultry to an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Always use a food thermometer to verify the internal temperature of the food.

Reheat sauces, soups, and gravies to a boil.

If reheating in the oven, set oven temperature no lower than 325°F.

When reheating food in the microwave oven, cover and rotate food for even heating. Always allow standing time before checking the internal temperature of the food.

Consult your microwave oven owner’s manual for recommended times and power levels.

Information provided by the United States Department of Agriculture -