Frequently Asked Questions

Temperature Control

How do you check the temperature of food on delivery, without tampering with the packaging?

How is food set up for tasting maintained at the right temperature?

What should I do if suppliers deliver food outside the hours of operation, and leave the food on the ground outside?

How often should we monitor, and should we keep temperature records of food delivered and food in our business?

Check your Food Safety Program for specific details on how often your should be monitoring the temperature of potentially hazardous foods in your Food Business.

As a general guide:

For businesses serving food to vulnerable populations (such as aged care facilities, hospitals or childcare), a temperature check of high risk deliveries is required on each delivery, cold and frozen storage checks should be undertaken twice a day, cooking and reheating temperatures tested for all foods, and cooling temperatures taken for each batch of food cooled for later use. In NSW, hot holding and cold holding temperatures are required no matter how long the food was held, as well as hot and cold food temperatures during plating and at the end of service (last meal served).

For businesses who serve food to the general population (such as retail and hospitality food businesses) it is still important to check temperatures, however the frequency is often a lot less than required in aged care, childcare or hospitals. For example, temperature checks are often not required for cooking processes, except for a 'process check' once a month. Ensure that you are following the scheduled temperature checks as per your Food Safety Program. If you do not have a food safety program, refer to the Food Safety Standards to understand the minimum requirements for all food businesses.

It is good practice to keep any temperature records you have filled in for at least two years, as it may be requested by an Environmental Health Officer, by an Auditor or during investigation into food poisoning at your food premises.


Are thermostats on cool rooms and bain-maries reliable? How do we check them?

What sort of thermometers are required - probe or infrared?

How soon should potentially hazardous food be refrigerated after it is cooked?

How do I know that the truck operator has not had potentially hazardous food out of temperature control for more than 2 hours?

Can food be refrozen?

What are the best methods to defrost foods?

Will freezing/boiling food destroy bacteria?

Can you supply me with information on Food Safety for Churches and Community Groups?

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