Quiz Show - TCS (temperature controlled for safety) or Shelf Stable? Par-cooked Bacon

Updated: Jun 17

The term 'TCS' is often used to refer to food that either requires temperature or time control for food safety and 7 day date marking. So let the games begin and test your knowledge.

Par-cooked Bacon - still soft and flexible.


Cooked or par-cooked bacon is a confusing item for lots of cooks. Here's the food safety rundown:

  • If you cook bacon completely so that it is crispy, than the 'water activity' is so low (amount of water left in product) that it is not considered a TCS food and can be held without temperature control.

  • If the bacon is par-cooked (still soft) because you want to allow some more cooking time once it is ordered, is a TCF and needs to be held under temperature control. Temperature control is 41F or less or 135F or greater.

  • A third alternative is to put the par-cooked bacon on a time as a control for public health. This consists of time stamping the par-cooked bacon when it is pulled from cooking and discard it after four hours. You can hold it at any temperature during those four hours.

The photo illustrates the par-cooked (soft) bacon on a steam table holding at just under 130F. This was cited at the time of inspection. The cook decided to keep it cold in the future.

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