Holding Meat

When my extended family gets together for special meals, they often continue for several hours. Can meat spoil during this time?

Temperature plays a critical role in holding meat safely. The Danger Zone is the temperature range that is ideal for bacterial growth--between 40 °F and 140°F. fried chickenBacteria grow readily between the temperature range of 70°F and 120°F. Therefore, meat must pass through this temperature range quickly.



Tips To Reduce the Time in the Danger Zone

Handling Meat Leftovers

If you have leftovers from a meal, refrigerate them immediately, and date them if you think they will be held for more than a day. Don’t keep meat if it has been unrefrigerated for more than two hours.

Don’t taste-test leftover meat dishes before reheating. Reheat leftovers to 165°F or higher. Don’t re-heat leftovers more than once and don’t use a slow cooker.

If you have more leftovers than you can use in one week, divide into usable portions and freeze.