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What is the temperature danger zone for bacterial growth in foods?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, most bacteria thrive at temperatures between 60o and 125oF. The growth of microorganisms will be prolific unless other precautionary steps, such as marinating, have been taken to make the food unfavorable to bacterial growth.

It is important to note that we use the phrase "most bacteria". There exist certain cryophilic (cold-loving) bacteria and other microorganisms that can do nicely at temperatures below 60oF. Likewise, our world has thermophilic (heat-loving) microorganisms that flourish at temperatures above 125oF. For these reasons, more cautious experts place the danger zone between 40o and 140oF - and some expand the temperature range even further.

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13:09:18 on 11/25/07 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -