Use of Thermometers


Temperatures will be taken at all steps in the food flow–receiving, storing, preparing, cooking, transporting, and serving –with calibrated thermometers to ensure the safety of food served to customers.


Employees involved in the production or service of food must take temperatures at critical steps throughout the flow of food using the following procedures:

How to Measure the Temperature of Food:

  1. Use a calibrated thermometer. Calibrate thermometers on a weekly basis, or whenever they are dropped or suffer a shock.
  2. Sanitize stem of clean thermometer with an alcohol wipe or insert stem into sanitizing solution for at least 5 seconds, then air dry.
  3. Insert the end of the sanitized thermometer into one of the following locations, depending on the type of food:
    • the thickest part of the product for meat, poultry, or fish
    • the center of the item
    • between two packages of refrigerated or frozen packaged foods
    • until at least 2 inches are submersed in milk and other liquids
    • by folding the bag over the stem of the thermometer or probe for bulk milk or liquids
  4. Make sure the tip of the thermometer does not poke through the food.
  5. Measure the temperature for at least 15 seconds.
  6. Read thermometer and record temperature.
  7. Clean and sanitize stem of thermometer and store it in an accessible location.

General Thermometer Guidelines:

  1. Keep thermometers and their storage cases clean, stored safely, and easily accessible.
  2. Use bi-metallic stemmed thermometers or digital thermometers. Do not use glass thermometers filled with mercury or spirits.
  3. Wait at least 15 seconds for the thermometer reading to steady before recording the temperature(bi-metallic).
  4. Take two temperatures in different locations, because product temperatures can vary throughout the food item.
  5. Insert the thermometer into liquids and hold. Do not allow the thermometer’s sensing area or probe to touch the sides or bottom of the container.

The restaurant manager will:

  1. Review logs daily to ensure that temperatures and corrective actions are being met.
  2. Follow up as necessary.
  3. File logs with HACCP records.