to view a sample chapter of the ServSafe Food Handler Guide.

ServSafe Starters Employee Guide
Controlling Time and Temperature
Concepts You Will Learn
Food most likely to become unsafe
How to measure the temperature of food
Holding and storing TCS food
How to label food for storage
Controlling Time and Temperature
Food Most Likely to Become Unsafe
Any type of food can be contaminated. But some types allow more pathogen growth. The best way to control
pathogen growth in these items is to control time and temperature. So these food items are known as food
that needs time and temperature control for safety, or TCS food for short. Here are the most common types
of TCS food.
•• Milk and dairy products
•• Eggs
•• Meat: beef, pork,
and lamb
•• Poultry
•• Fish
•• Shellfish and crustaceans
•• Baked potatoes
•• Heat-treated plant food,
such as cooked rice,
beans, and vegetables
•• Tofu or other soy protein
•• Synthetic ingredients,
such as textured
soy protein in meat
•• Sliced melons
•• Cut tomatoes
•• Sprouts and sprout
•• Untreated garlic-and-oil
More on this
ServSafe Starters Employee Guide
Apply Your Knowledge
What to Control
Circle each food item that needs time and temperature control to keep it safe.
For answers, please turn to page 48.
Controlling Time and Temperature
How to Measure the Temperature of Food
To control the temperature of food, you must first know how to check it. A thermometer is the most
important tool for doing this. Follow the guidelines below to do it right.
1Use the right thermometer for the job you are doing.
•• Check with your manager about the right thermometer to use.
2Make sure the thermometer is ready to be used.
•• It must be washed, rinsed, and sanitized. Do this before using it.
•• It must be adjusted so it will read temperatures correctly. This is
called calibration.
3Check temperatures the right way.
•• Stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the food. This is
usually the center.
•• Wait until the thermometer reading stays steady before writing
down a temperature.
•• Take another reading in a different spot.
4Clean and sanitize the thermometer.
•• Wash, rinse, sanitize, and air-dry the thermometer after using it.
•• Keep its storage case clean.
Apply Your Knowledge
Taking Its Temperature
1 Write a next to where you should check the
temperature of food.
2 Write a next to what you should do after using
a thermometer.
A On the top surface
A Wash it well and then let it dry.
B On the bottom surface
B Wipe it off and put it back in its case.
C In the thickest part
C Let it air-dry.
D In the thinnest part
D Wash, rinse, sanitize, and air-dry it.
For answers, please turn to page 48.
ServSafe Starters Employee Guide
Holding and Storing TCS Food
When you hold or store TCS food the wrong way, pathogens have a chance to grow. To keep food safe during
these tasks, follow the guidelines below.
Temperature Danger Zone
Storing TCS Food Safely
To keep TCS food safe, you must keep it out of the
temperature danger zone.
TCS food must be stored the right way.
survive and
•• Do not overload
coolers or freezers.
•• Return prepped food
to coolers as quickly
as possible.
•• Plan ahead so you
don’t have to open
cooler doors more than
•• Pathogens grow well
in the temperature
range from 41˚F to
135˚F (5˚C to 57˚C).
This range is called
the temperature
danger zone.
•• TCS food must be kept
out of this range.
Apply Your Knowledge
Holding and Storing Safely
Holding TCS Food Safely
To keep TCS food safe during holding, follow these
•• Keep hot food at 135˚F
(57˚C) or higher.
•• Keep cold food at 41˚F
(5˚C) or lower.
•• Keep frozen food
•• Check the food’s
temperature at least
every four hours.
•• If food is not being
held at the right
temperature, tell
your manager.
1 Write a next to the temperature that cooked
hamburger patties being hot-held (waiting to be
served) should be kept at before service.
A 41˚F (5˚C) or lower
B 94˚F (34˚C) or lower
C 125˚F (52˚C) or higher
D 135˚F (57˚C) or higher
2 At 10:30 a.m., John removed four cases of
hamburger patties from the cooler for the lunch
rush. After lunch, he noticed that the uncooked
patties were at room temperature. Write a
next to what he should do.
A Nothing, the patties are okay to cook.
B Return them to the cooler immediately.
C Cook them immediately.
D Ask his manager.
3 When Greta went into the freezer to get more fish
sticks, she found that they were thawed. Write a
next to what she should do.
A Take the fish sticks and cook them.
B Leave the fish sticks there to freeze.
C Throw away all the thawed fish sticks.
D Ask her manager.
For answers, please turn to page 48.
Controlling Time and Temperature
How to Label Food for Storage
Food can be stored only for so long to keep it safe. To control storage time, you must be able to tell when food
was stored and by what date it must be used. This means always labeling food as it is stored.
Apply Your Knowledge
Using Stored Food Safely
1 Circle the storage shelf that has the cans stored
All ready-to-eat food that is prepped in-house must
have a label that includes the following information.
•• Name of the food
•• Use-by or expiration date—ask your manager
what date to use
2 Write a next to the items that must
be included on the label for a pan of meat sauce
prepped in-house.
A Name of food; use-by date
B Name of food; ingredients used
C Name of food; purchase date
D Name of food; allergens it contains
For answers, please turn to page 48.
When storing food:
1Check the expiration date.
2Store food in first in, first out (FIFO) order.
This means storing food that will expire first in
front of items that will expire later.
3Use the food in front first, because it will
expire first.