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To prevent your customers from getting sick, you’ve got to think food safety. To prevent foodborne illnesses, it’s important to follow these steps when preparing your chicken.

Cross-contamination can cause illnesses from salmonella and E. coli. Symptoms of this include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.


This is very important while you prepare your food. Keep your hands, boards, knives, fridge and storage containers clean and hygienic.


Always cook your chicken so that the meat is no longer pink, and the meat juices run clear. The thickest part of the meat should reach 75 °C on a food thermometer.


Most raw and cooked chicken can be stored in the fridge at 5 °C or lower for 2 – 3 days. Store minced poultry for only 1 day.


Separate chicken and other foods in the fridge AND during preparation, so that raw chicken juices do not come in contact with other foods.


Use separate utensils and coloured boards for raw meat and uncooked foods like fruit, salads and vegetables.

How to Reheat Your Food to Reuse Leftovers
When you’re reheating food like chicken, it’s important to follow these guidelines. Proper reheating should occur at a temperature of 85 °C or above to effectively kill any bacteria in the food.

Hot Holding Food (Food Held in a Bain-Marie)
Once food is cooked, it should be held at a constant temperature: hold hot food above 65 °C and store cold food chilled between 4 - 7 °C.

  • Be aware of the temperature ‘Danger Zone’ - this is where bacteria can multiply and cause food poisoning.
  • Check the temperature of bain-maries twice a day. Use a thermometer and log sheet to record the food temperature.
  • If the food’s temperature is less than 60 °C for more than 2 hours, reheat to 85 °C or hotter immediately.
  • If the food’s temperature is less than 60 °C for more than 4 hours, discard the food.
  • Do not use bain-maries to reheat food as they cannot reach 75 °C in one hour.
  • Do not overload your bain-marie tray as it will lower temperatures.
  • Any dish in a bain-marie should not be held for longer than 4 hours.


  • Check that hot holding equipment is hot before use and use a temperature setting that will keep the food at 65 °C or hotter.
  • Do not overload the bain-marie.
  • Never mix old food with freshly prepared food. Always replace the whole tray with a fresh batch.
  • If there is a portion of food left in the dish, within shelf life, place it in a takeaway container, price it and sell it as a ‘grab and go’.
  • Food should be heated or reheated to 85 °C or above before being placed in the bain-marie.