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Question:

Food from plants that will be hot held for service should be cooked to what temperature?

A 135°F
explanation

Explanation: Fruits, vegetables, grains (rice, pasta), and legumes (beans, refried beans) that will be hot held for service should be cooked to a minimum of 135°F for any amount of time. This question (or a similar question) appears often on the ServSafe Manager exam and is worth further understanding. The tricky part is where it says "hot held for service". Oftentimes the foods that come from plants do not need to be cooked at all and can be left in the temperature danger zone for long periods. But once they have been cooked, they become more susceptible to harboring pathogens. This is because their outer protection (skin or peel) has been damaged. And cooked food always requires hot holding. And when some of these foods are sliced or cut open they become even more susceptible to harboring pathogens. In this case, if it will be longer than 4 hours before service, they should either be cold held or cooked first and then hot held. Also, some plant foods (such as sprouts) should be cooked and hot held if they will be served to a high-risk population. In most cases, the foods that come from plants do not need cooking at all. But if it's being hot held, that means that it has been cooked or needed to be cooked.