Food and Lodging Resources

Personal Hygiene

Poor personal hygiene practices serve as the leading cause of foodborne illnesses. Food establishments must be sure to promote a culture of food safety by developing an employee illness policy, proper handwashing procedure, no barehand contact policy with ready to eat foods, and informing staff. 


Cold foods shall maintain ≤41°F and hot foods shall maintain ≥135°F. If foods stay in between those temperatures for any period, ensure they are time and temperature controlled and documented. Time and temperature control for safety (TCS) foods must be date marked and stored no longer than 7 days. Remember, first day of preparation or when a food package is opened, counts as day 1. When in doubt, throw it out! 

Cooling Food

  • Cooling time starts at 135°F 
  • Cool from 135°F to 70°F in 2 hours, then from 70°F to 41°F in 4 hours 
  • If the temperature is projected to not meet 70°F within 2 hours, reheat to 165°F and start over 
  • Reheating can only be done one time 
  • Once at 70°F, cool down to 41°F in 4 hours 
  • Once at 41°F, it’s ready to be covered, labeled, dated, and stored in the refrigerator 
  • Total cooling time cannot exceed 6 hours or food must be discarded 

 Tips for speeding up the cooling process 

  • Use the ice bath method by placing a smaller pan of food inside a larger pan filled with half ice and half water, stirring frequently 
  • Use ice paddle with frequent stirring 
  • Add ice as part of the ingredient 
  • Place pan in coolest part of the refrigerator loosely covered or uncovered 
  • Divide large food quantities into smaller portions 
  • Spread thick foods int thin layers and place in the refrigerator 
  • Use of metal pans is preferred, as they cool food faster than plastic 

Time and Temperature Control for Safety Foods

Approved Source

All foods distributed in licensed food establishments must be obtained from approved sources that comply with applicable laws and regulations. All food shall be inspected upon delivery to ensure proper temperatures, overall satiation, and condition. 


The Food and Drug Administration has established minimum internal cooking temperatures for foods to ensure pathogen counts are reduced to safe levels. Ensure metal stem thermometers are conveniently stored and accessible for employees to monitor final cooking temperatures. 

Proper food storage in fridges and freezers.pdf 

Cross Contamination

Cross contamination can occur from a variety of sources, including chemical and raw foods. To prevent the spread of harmful pathogens, all equipment and utensils shall be properly cleaned and sanitized. Ensure sanitizer solutions are monitored using their appropriate test strips. Low sanitizer concentrations will fail in effectively removing pathogens from surfaces, while high concentrations will leave a toxic residue.