Food Safety – Important Critical Control Points (CCPs) to Monitor with Hazardous Food

Hazardous Food

A food that is capable of supporting the growth of disease-causing organisms or the production of toxins by these organisms.

Danger Zone

The temperature range between 4°C/40°F and 60°C/140°F


  • Use pasteurized dairy products.
  • Buy meat and poultry from federally and provincially inspected establishments.
  • Do not use cracked eggs.
  • Do not use spoiled food.


  • Keep food at 4°C/40°F or colder.
  • Freeze food to -18°C/0°F or colder.
  • Separate raw foods from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Store cooked foods above raw foods.
  • Date and label stored foods.


  • Thaw in a refrigerated unit at 4°C/40°F or colder.
  • Thaw under cold running potable water OR in a microwave oven only when the food will be cooked immediately.

Food Preparation

  • Do not allow food to remain in the danger zone for more than 2 hours.
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after using the washroom, after handling raw food and before handling ready-to-eat food.
  • Wash and sanitize all surfaces that have been touched by food.

Internal Food Cooking Temperature

  • Use a probe thermometer to ensure that hazardous foods are cooked to the following minimum internal temperatures for at least 15 seconds:
    • 82°C/180°F
    • Whole poultry

    • 74°C/165°F
    • Ground poultry, poultry that is not whole and any other poultry product

    • 74°C/165°F
    • Any mixtures containing poultry, egg, meat, fish or other hazardous food

    • 71°C/160°F
    • Pork, ground pork and other non-poultry meats

    • 70°C/158°F
    • Fish

Hold for Service

  • Hold hot food at 60°C/140°F or hotter.
  • Hold cold food at 4°C/40°F or colder.

Internal Food Cooling Temperature

  • Cool cooked hazardous food to serve at a later time from 60°C/140°F to 20°C/68°F in 2 hours or less.
  • Cool cooked hazardous food to serve at a later time from 20°C/68°F to 4°C/40°F in 4 hours or less.

Reheating Cooked Food

  • Reheat hazardous food to required temperature within 2 hours.
  • Reheat hazardous food to minimum internal cooking temperatures as listed above (except whole poultry which must be reheated to 74°C/165°F).


Call the EOHU at 613-933-1375 or 1-800-267-7120.