Potentially Hazardous Foods
Any food that consists in whole or in part of milk or milk products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, edible crustacean, or other ingredients, including synthetic ingredients, in a form capable of supporting rapid, and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms.
The term does not include foods which have a pH level of 4.6 or below or a water activity Aw (water activity) value of 0.85 or less.
Definition of Potentially Hazardous Food from the Department of Agriculture's Food Code:
(a) "Potentially hazardous food" means a FOOD that is natural or synthetic and that requires temperature control because it is in a form capable of supporting:
(i) The rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms;
(ii) The growth and toxin production of Clostridium botulinum; or
(iii) In raw shell eggs, the growth of Salmonella Enteritidis.
(b) "Potentially hazardous food" includes an animal FOOD (a FOOD of animal origin) that is raw or heat treated; a FOOD of plant origin that is heat-treated or consists of raw seed sprouts; cut melons; and garlic-in-oil mixtures that are not modified in a away that results in mixtures that do not support growth as specified under Subparagraph (a) of this definition.
(c) "Potentially hazardous food" does not include:
(i) An air-cooled hard-boiled egg with shell intact;
(ii) A FOOD with a aw (water activity) value of 0.85 or less;
(iii) A FOOD with a pH level of 4.6 or below when measured at 24 C (75 F);
(iv) A FOOD, in an unopened HERMETICALLY SEALED CONTAINER, that is commercially processed to achieve and maintain commercial sterility under conditions of nonrefrigerated storage and distribution;
(v) A FOOD for which laboratory evidence demonstrates that the rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms or the growth of progressive growth of S. Enteritidis in eggs or C. botulinum cannot occur, such as a FOOD that has an aw (water activity) and a pH that are above the levels specified under Subparagraphs (c) (ii) and (iii) of this definition and that may contain a preservative, other barrier to the growth of microorganisms, or a combination of barriers that inhibit the growth of microorganisms; or
(vi) A FOOD that does not support the growth of microorganisms as specified under Subparagraph (a) of this definition even though the FOOD may contain an infectious or toxigenic microorganism or chemical or physical contaminant at a level sufficient to cause illness.
For more information on this subject, please contact:
Marquette County Health Department