Food Safety - Proper Cooking & Reheating Temperatures

After safely preparing food, you must cook it to the correct minimum internal temperature to safeguard against food-borne illness. Temperatures vary from item to item; always use a probe thermometer to verify final cooking temperatures.


Common Food Items: Minimum Internal Cooking Temperatures


Poultry (including whole or ground chicken, turkey, & duck)------------ 165⁰F for 15 seconds.

Stuffing (stuffed meat, fish, poultry, & pasta)------------------------------ 165⁰F for 15 seconds.

Ground Meat (all meat or fish)--------------------------------------------------- 155⁰F for 15 seconds.

Injected Meats (brined hams and flavor injected roasts)----------------- 155⁰F for 15 seconds.

Pork, Beef, Veal, & Lamb (steaks & chops)--------------------------------- 145⁰F for 15 seconds.

Whole Roasts (pork, veal, & lamb)---------------------------------------------- 145⁰F for 4 minutes.

Fish------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 145⁰F for 15 seconds.

Eggs (immediate service)---------------------------------------------------------- 145⁰F for 15 seconds.

Eggs (hot held)----------------------------------------------------------------------- 155⁰F for 15 seconds.


When cooking in a microwave oven, cook all food to 165⁰F for 15 seconds, stir halfway through, and let stand for 2 minutes before serving.



When food is held, cooled, and reheated, there is an increased risk of contamination caused by employees, equipment, and handling processes.


Previously cooked and cooled Time/Temperature Control for Safety (TCS) foods that will be HOT HELD must be reheated as follows:

  • *All parts of the food must reach a temperature of at least 165°F for 15 seconds.
  • Reheating must be done rapidly, within 2 hours after being removed from refrigeration.
  • Foods reheated in a microwave oven must be reheated so that all parts of the food reach a temperature of at least 165°F. The food must be stirred, covered, and allowed to stand covered for 2 minutes after reheating.

A steam table will adequately hold reheated foods above 135°F but most steam tables are not capable of rapidly reheating to 165°F.

* Cooked and subsequently refrigerated food that is fully prepared for immediate service in response to an individual consumer order, such as a roast beef sandwich au jus, may be served at any temperature.

*Fully cooked food from a commercial food processing plant must be initially reheated to a temperature of at least 135°F before hot holding.


Food Safety