Food Safety - Sushi Rice Guidelines

Facilities preparing and serving sushi rice must choose and adhere to one of the following:

Maintaining Temperature Control

Maintain sushi rice either by cold holding at 41°F or below or hot holding at 135°F or above.

Using Time as a Public Health Control

Prior to implementation, create a written procedure for using time as a public health control (TPHC). This written procedure needs to be provided to your inspector for approval during your next routine inspection and be available during subsequent inspections. You will need to follow the approved plan and notify your inspector of any changes to the written plan/your process.


When addition of vinegar results in pH values of 4.1 or lower, sushi rice is considered a non-time temperature control for safety (non-TCS) food and may be held at room temperature. In order to utilize acidification of sushi rice as a safety control, submit a safety plan including the following items to

  • Submit: A Special Process Request - Sushi Rice (D-1849) form to apply for a variance.
  • Submit: A Product Assessment from an FDA-recognized process authority or an accredited commercial food laboratory to the Department. A new Product Assessment must be submitted if your process is modified after Department approval.
  • Submit: A Standard Operating Procedure to the Department. This procedure must include step-by-step instructions for preparing the sushi rice, calibrating the pH meter, testing the pH of the sushi rice, and recording the pH values measured for each sushi rice batch.

Be prepared to demonstrate your testing procedure upon request during inspections.


Food Safety