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Question:

How long can a cold-held TCS food remain in the Temperature Danger Zone before it must be served or thrown out?

A 6 hours
Explaination

Explanation: Cold-held TCS food can remain in the Temperature Danger Zone for up to 6 hours before it must be served or thrown out.Cold-held TCS food is different from raw and hot-held TCS food - which can only remain in the Temperature Danger Zone for up to 4 hours.The reason cold-held TCS food is different is that it's less likely to have spent as much time within the temperature range where bacteria grow the most rapidly.The Temperature Danger Zone is a wide range of temperatures between 41°F and 135°F. But bacteria grow the most rapidly within the smaller range of 70°F and 125°F.Hot TCS food is held at 135°F or higher and cold TCS food is held at 41°F or lower. Hot food only has to drop 10°F before it enters the temperature range where bacteria grow the most rapidly. But cold TCS food has to rise 29°F before it enters that temperature range. This is why 6 hours is allowed for cold-held TCS food, but only 4 hours is allowed for hot-held TCS food.Although raw TCS food is stored at 41°F or lower, it has not been cooked, so the pathogens have not been killed yet. This is why raw TCS food is only allowed 4 hours in the Temperature Danger Zone.