Safe Handling of Complete Meals to Go

One of the most convenient meals in today's busy world is a meal to go. Most are consumed immediately, although there are times when ready-prepared foods are purchased in advance to be eaten at a later time. Perishable foods can cause illness when mishandled and improperly stored. Proper handling is essential to ensure the food is safe.

Purchased Hot

  • Eating Within 2 Hours? Pick up food HOT and keep it HOT. Eat and enjoy your food within 2 hours to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying
  • Not Eating Within 2 Hours? Keeping food warm is not enough. Harmful bacteria grow rapidly between 40 and 140 degrees F.

Purchased Cold/ Reheating 

  • Keep COLD Food COLD---Refrigerate or freeze immediately. Cold food should be held at 41 degrees or colder
  • You may wish to reheat your meal, whether purchased hot and then refrigerated or purchased cold initially
  • Heat thoroughly to 165 degrees
  • If heating in the microwave oven, cover the food and rotate the dish, so it heats evenly

Keep HOT foods HOT & COLD foods COLD!


Food Safety