Improper cooling of potentially hazardous foods is the number one cause of foodborne illness. Disease causing bacteria grow best in the "temperature danger zone" of 41°F to 140°F. When potentially hazardous foods are improperly cooled, it provides an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply.
Potentially hazardous foods must be cooled from 140°F to 70°F within two hours. An additional four hours is allowed to completely cool the food product to 41°F. The faster foods pass through the "temperature danger zone" as they are cooled, the better.
Dairy & Food Inspection Division 651-201-6027