Keeping Take-out Food Safe: Tips For Your Customers

Now that outdoor temperatures are starting to soar, foodservice operators should consider offering their customers some helpful tips on how to correctly store and re-heat the take-out meals or leftover “doggy” bags they carry home from restaurants.

Customers can greatly reduce their risk of getting ill from improperly handled food by following a few simple instructions:
Food Safety Tips for Take-Out

* Always refrigerate take-out food and leftovers within two hours of leaving the restaurant and ensure that the refrigerator is set at 4ºC (40ºF) and the freezer at -18ºC (0ºF). Shorten the time to less than one hour on hot days.

* Consume leftovers promptly – within three to four days.

* Make sure to thoroughly re-heat leftover foods to 74ºC (165ºF) and use a meat thermometer to ensure correct temperature is reached.

* Eat re-heated food immediately. Food left sitting at room temperature can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

If your customers are looking for more detailed information on food safety, direct them to the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education website at