There are a number of temperatures that play a key role within the food industry. The obvious ones are 0° and 100°. After all, the drinks need ice and the tea has to be hot. 22 to 24° is the ideal room temperature.
5° and 60° have been specified within the Australian & New Zealand Food Standards Code as being the range in which microbiological growth can occur. This is the danger zone. If food is left too long within this temperature range then potentially deadly micro-organisms can grow.
Heating food above 60° will kill the micro-organisms. It will not, however, remove the toxins that may have been introduced. Cooling food to below 5° will almost slow the growth of micro-organisms.
The Foods Standards Code states that if you are receiving, storing, processing (including defrosting and preparing), cooling, reheating, displaying and transporting potentially hazardous foods then you must be able to prove that you have not exposed the food to this critical temperature range for too long.
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