Studies show that inadequate cooking and reheating of foods are some of the most frequent factors responsible for causing food borne illness outbreaks.


 During cooking, the types of food listed in the chart below must reach these internal temperatures for at least the times specified to minimize bacterial growth.  For hot holding purposes, these foods must be maintained at a temperature above 135°F.  When checking the temperature of a food product, always use a metal-stemmed probe type thermometer, cleaned and sanitized between each use.  Check the temperature in the thickest portion of the product.

Types of Food

Minimum Cooking Temperature

Fruits and vegetables that are cooked for hot-holding at 135°F or above

135 °F

Raw shell eggs cooked to order for immediate service

145°F for 15 seconds


145°F for 15 seconds

Single pieces of meat (beef, veal, lamb, pork)

145°F for 15 seconds

Pooled eggs and foods containing raw eggs

155°F for 15 seconds

Ground meats and sausage

155°F for 15 seconds

Poultry and stuffed meats, stuffed poultry and stuffed fish with stuffing thoroughly cooked prior to insertion

165°F for 15 seconds

Whole beef roasts, corned beef roasts, pork roasts and hams shall be cooked according to oven type and the size of the roast as described in California Health and Safety Code, Section 114004.



 Failing to adequately reheat foods can also cause food borne illness.  Reheat all previously cooked foods to an internal temperature of at least 165°F for 15 seconds. Food reheated in a microwave oven must be heated to at least 165°F.  If reheated in the microwave, food must be covered, rotated or stirred, and allowed to stand covered for at least 2 minutes after reheating.

 If food is going to be held hot, it must be reheated to 165°F rapidly (no longer than 2 hours) BEFORE being placed into a hot holding unit.  Once it has been properly reheated and transferred to the hot holding unit, the food must be maintained at a minimum temperature of 135°F.

 Ready-to-eat food from a hermetically sealed container or intact packages of food from an approved food processing plant only need to be reheated to 135°F for hot holding since the food has been commercially processed.       

 *Document available in an alternate format upon request

Field level help.