Date: May 22, 2019

Partly cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers early this evening. Fog patches developing late this evening. Wind southeast 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low 12.


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DineSafe Lambton

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Take Out Food

This page was reviewed or revised on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 11:38 AM

Many take-out foods will support the growth of disease causing bacteria when mishandled. For this reason, take-out foods are hazardous foods which can cause food borne illness, better known as "food poisoning". Take- out foods must be stored safely at all times, especially if these foods are purchased to eat at a later time or if there are leftovers after a meal.

Food purchased or delivered hot
eating within two hours?

  • Pick up or receive the food HOT...and enjoy eating within two hours.

Not eating within two hours?

  • Keeping food warm is not enough – it must be kept HOT. Harmful bacteria can multiply between 4°C and 60°C (40°F and 140°F).
  • Set the oven temperature high enough to keep the food at a minimum internal temperature of 60°C.
  • Covering with foil will help retain heat and keep food moist.
  • It is recommended that you use a probe thermometer to monitor internal temperatures of hot held food.

Eating much later?

  • Divide large quantities into smaller portions.
  • Place in shallow containers.
  • Cover loosely and refrigerate immediately.


  • Reheat thoroughly to the original cooking temperature within 2 hours.
  • Food should be hot and steaming.
  • In the microwave oven, cover food and rotate so it heats evenly.

Food purchased or delivered cold

  • Keep cold food cold
  • Refrigerate immediately. Cold food should be held at 4°C (40°F) or colder.

The two hour rule

  • Hazardous food should never be left at room temperature.
  • Discard food that has been left at room temperature longer than two hours.

Deli platters

  • Keep food cold on the buffet table by nesting dishes in bowls of ice.
  • Use small platters of food, and replace them with fresh platters, rather than adding fresh food to a dish that already has food on it.
  • Cover platters until serving time.
  • Ensure serving utensils are available for use.


  • When take-out food is purchased cold to eat at a later time, like a picnic or a sporting event, a cooler with ice is a practical alternative to a refrigerator.
  • The cooler should be well insulated and packed with ice or freezer packs.

What to do with those leftovers!

  • Hazardous food should not be out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.
  • Refrigerate or freeze leftovers promptly in shallow covered containers.