Skip to content

Food & Recipes

Font Size

Food Safety: Serving - Topic Overview

You can help prevent food poisoning by taking precautions when serving food.

  • Keep hot foods hot [140°F (60°C) or above] and cold foods cold [40°F (4°C) or below].
  • Never leave meat, poultry, eggs, fish, or shellfish (raw or cooked) at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If the temperature outdoors is above 90°F (32°C), refrigerate within 1 hour. (This is often the case during summer picnics.)
  • Chill leftovers as soon as you finish eating.
  • Store leftovers in small, shallow containers to cool rapidly.
  • Do not reheat food that is contaminated. Reheating does not make it safe.
  • If you are not sure how long a food has been in the refrigerator, throw it out.
  • If you are not sure whether a food is safe, throw it out.

When you eat out, be sure that meat is cooked thoroughly and that foods that should be refrigerated, such as puddings and cold cuts, are served cold. Also pay attention to the restaurant environment. If the tables, dinnerware, and restrooms look dirty, the kitchen may be too.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 18, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Food Safety: Serving Topics

    Today on WebMD

    Four spoons with mustards
    What condiments are made of and how much to use.
    salmon and spinach
    How to get what you need.
     
    grilled veggies
    Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
    Greek Salad
    Health benefits, what you can eat and more.
     

    WebMD Recipe Finder

    Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.



    bread
    Recipes
    soup
    Recipes
     
    roasted chicken
    Recipes
    grilled steak
    Video
     

    Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    vegetarian sandwich
    Recipes
    fresh vegetables
    Recipes
     
    smoothie
    fitArticle
    Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow
    Slideshow