Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Food Safety
Time as a Public Health Control Requirements
RETAIL INDUSTRY GUIDANCE IN DEVELOPING WRITTEN PROCEDURES
For using Time as a Control to Hold Time/Temperature Control for Safety Foods (TCS)
Rules and Regulations-2017 Food Code
Refer to 3-501.19 for the entire regulation of the following synopsis
1. The life of all food(s) held utilizing Time as a Public Health Control is limited to 4 hours for hot
hold foods; and 4 or 6* hours for cold hold food as specified in the Food Code. Once the time
limit is reached the food must be DISCARDED.
2. Once Time as a Public Health Control has begun, the food(s) may not be returned to temperature
control for food safety. Temperature applied during any course of Time as a Public Health
Control is for the purpose of palatability and does not affect the required discard time of the food
3. Food(s) must be cooked and served, served if ready-to-eat, or discarded within the 4- or 6-hour
timeframe from the point in time when the foods are removed from temperature control.
4. Foods that are not marked or marked to exceed the 4- or 6-hour limit must be discarded.
5. Written procedures must always be available in the establishment and made available for review
*Note: 6-hour time limit shall only be used in circumstances where food is monitored to ensure
the warmest portion of the food does not exceed 70°F or an ambient air temperature of 70°F is
maintained during the 6-hour holding temperature. If your food establishment is placing cold food
on a counter and sits in a room temperature environment that normally exceeds 70°F such as the
retail area, the 6-hour limit cannot be chosen as an option.
The following written procedure guidance for Time as a Control is an optional procedure by the retail
food establishment to hold working supplies of Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food(s) without
temperature control. Utilize each descriptive step to develop your procedures to ensure the protection of
the health and safety of the public from foodborne illness that can occur from temperature abuse of food.
The following form is optional, however written procedures are mandatory. You may utilize this form to
assist you in developing your own written procedure document.