Mississippi State Department of Health

Basic Food Safety


Food contamination is a leading cause of illness, yet one of the easiest to avoid.

Whether it's for a family, party or just yourself, proper handling significantly reduces the risk of food-borne illness.

Food Temperature

Proper food temperature is essential
The major causes of food-borne illness are improper temperatures for cooking, cooling, holding and reheating food. Bacteria grow vigorously above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.

Keep food out of the danger zone
Most bacteria grow best in the "danger zone" between 41 degrees and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold foods need to be kept cold, not cool, and hot foods need to be heated to full temperature (135 or higher) and kept there while serving.

Proper cooking temperatures
Food needs to be cooked to the proper temperature to kill the germs that cause food-borne illness.

Temperature tips
Don't take chances: follow these tips to safeguard your cooking.

Other Safety Measures

Each step in food preparation matters in protecting you from disease. Keep the following in mind as you prepare and store your food.

Food Warnings and Recalls

Links referenced

Find this page at http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/index.cfm

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