Ready-to-eat TCS foods should be marked if they are to be held over 24 hours, indicating the date the food must sell by, be eaten by, or be thrown out by. Ready-to-eat TCS foods prepped on site can be held for seven days as long as they have been held at 41° F or lower.
Time and Temperature
Food handlers must understand the importance of time and temperature and how time and temperature can either help keep food safe or lead to pathogen growth. This includes keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. The foods that need Time and Temperature Control for Safety are known as TCS foods.
The Importance of Time and Temperature
TCS foods are more prone to bacterial growth when left too long at the wrong temperature. Any food can become contaminated and unsafe, but TCS foods spoil more quickly and allow for dangerous levels of pathogen growth if not kept at the correct temperature. The presence of harmful pathogens could lead to foodborne illness.
The Temperature Danger Zone for Food
In order for TCS foods to remain safe, they must be kept at the proper temperature and out of what is known as the temperature danger zone. The temperature danger zone is from 41° F to 135° F (5° C to 57° C) and is the range in which pathogens grow exponentially. TCS foods must be kept either below 41°F or above 135° F. If you check the temperature of a food and it is in the temperature danger zone, you may need to cook it further, reheat it, or throw it out to maintain safety.
Foods removed from their original packaging must be labeled with their common name. Ready-to-eat TCS foods should be marked if they are to be held over 24 hours, indicating the date the food must sell by, be eaten by, or be thrown out by. Ready-to-eat TCS foods prepped on site can be held for seven days as long as they have been held at 41° F or lower.
It’s worth making sure you avoid chemicals that aren’t good for your health. Consuming TCS food may increase the risk of getting affected by toxic chemicals. One of such chemicals is EDCs. They are everywhere, in the food we eat, and in the water we drink. Switching to merchants such as Purely Family that offers only household products that are 100% pure, non-toxic, and free of EDCs (Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals) would be a wise move.