How scary does that sound? The Time Temperature Danger Zone (TTDZ, for short) includes temperatures between 40° Fahrenheit and 140° Fahrenheit. Keeping foods in this temperature range can lead to rapid bacteria growth, which can cause scary food borne illnesses. Temperatures in this range can create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, which thrive in warmer climes.
Keeping this in mind, there’s no need to panic. The TTDZ is not something conscientious home cooks need to worry too much about. Cooked foods can remain safe in the zone for short periods of time. (Think 45 minutes to an hour.) It’s important to avoid long periods at these temperatures.
Some simple advice for avoiding the TTDZ — first, invest in an instant-read thermometer so you can quickly check your food’s temperature. Cool hot foods quickly before covering and refrigerating them. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
Let’s be careful out there!