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Take Out Food Handling Recommendations

Safe Package Handling– CDC Recommendations:

  • Discard takeout packaging as soon as possible

  • Wash your hands straight after.

  • Avoid using the containers and utensils that the food came in

  • Clean counter where take out items were placed

Safe Package Handling– CDC Recommendations:

  • 2-Hour Rule

    • To keep hot foods safe, keep them at 140 °F or above. Cold foods must be kept at 40 °F or below. Bacteria grow rapidly between 40 and 140 °F. Discard all perishable foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, and casseroles, left at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.

Keep HOT Food HOT! COLD Food 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.

Hot Take-Out or Delivered Food

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

 


Use a food thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the food

  • If plans are 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.

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Cold/Refrigerated Take-Out or Delivered Food

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

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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.

  • When take-out or delivered food is purchased cold for an outdoor event—like a picnic—a cooler with ice is a practical alternative to a refrigerator. Keep the cooler in the shade when possible.

  • Remember the 2-hour rule when food is removed from the cooler. Discard all perishable foods that have been left out of the coolers longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in air temperatures above 90 °F.

 

Leftovers

  • Discard all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and casseroles, left at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in air temperatures above 90 °F. This includes leftovers taken home from a restaurant. Some exceptions to this rule are foods such as cookies, crackers, bread, and whole fruits.

  • Whole foods should be sliced or cut into smaller pieces or portions before storing them in the refrigerator or freezer.

  • Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in shallow containers. Wrap or cover the food.

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