Potentially Hazardous Foods Servsafe NY, CT & NJ Food Safety

What are Hazardous Foods? And What do we need to know about them?


“Potentially hazardous foods“means any natural or synthetic food or food ingredient that supports the rapid growth of Infectious or toxigenic microorganisms or the slower growth of C. botullnum.


A food is potentially hazardous if it is:


  • Of an animal source, such as meat, milk, fish, shellfish, edible crustacea, poultry, or
    contains any of these products .


  • Of plant origin and has been heat treated.


  • Any of the raw seed sprouts .


The following is a partial list of specific food products that have been classified as potentially hazardous:


  1. Bacon-lf it has not been fully cooked.


  1. Beans-All types of cooked beans.


  1. Whipped butter-Because of the apparent reduced microbiological safety factor created in whipping.


  1. Cheese-Soft, unripened cheese. Ripened, low-moisture hard cheese, such as wheels, flats, blocks, longhorns, or cheddar produced from pasteurized milk, when waxed or packaged in shrink-wrap with the wax or packaging intact, can be safely shipped or stored for a short period of time without refrigeration, but this is not recommended. If wheels or flats are cut and repackaged for display and/ or sales, thereby exposing interior surfaces to possible contamination, the cut portions as well as the remaining cheese must be held under refrigeration.


  1. Coffee creaming agents-All nondairy coffee creaming agents in liquid form, except aseptically processed ultrahigh temperature (UHT) liquid coffee creaming agents.


  1. Eggs-Fresh eggs in shells, fresh eggs with outer shell removed, peeled hard-boiled eggs, and hard-boiled eggs with intact shells which have been hard-boiled and then cooled in liquid.


  1. Garlic-Unrefrigerated, fresh garlic in oil products provide the anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment required for C. botulinum.


  1. Onions-Cooked and dehydrated onions that have been reconstituted.


  1. Pasta-All types that have been cooked.


  1. Pastries-Meat, cheese, and cream filled.


  1. Pies-Meat, fish, poultry, natural cream, synthetic cream, custard, pumpkin, and pies that are covered with toppings that will support microbial growth.


  1. Potatoes-Baked, boiled, or fried.


  1. Rice-Boiled. Steamed, fried, Spanish, and cooked rice used in sushi.


  1. Sauces-Hollandaise and other sauces containing potentially hazardous ingredients. If these are held in the temperature range of 45° to 130°, they must be discarded within four hours of preparation.


  1. Sour Cream-If the pH is above 4.6 and/or the sour cream is combined with other food products.


  1. Soy protein-Tofu and other moist soy protein products.


  1. Seed sprouts-All types.


Foods that are not potentially hazardous are:


  1. Hard-boiled eggs with shells intact, which have been air dried. 2. Foods with a water activity (Aw) value of 0.85 or less. 3. Foods with a measurement of acidity (pH) of 4.6 or below.


  1. Foods that have been adequately commercially processed and remain in their unopened hermetically sealed containers.


  1. Foods for which laboratory evidence (acceptable to the regulatory authority) demonstrates that rapid and progressive growth of infectious and toxigenic microorganisms or the slower growth of C. botulinum cannot occur.


To find out more about Potentially Hazardous Foods contact Westchester Food Safety we are based in New York, We offer courses and exams in NY, CT & NJ. We offer a variety of Food Safety Consulting programs. We can train all your staff. We offer 30 minute to 4 hour briefings where we educate and train staff on various safety issues. Call today.




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