ARS Temperature Guide

Time/temperature combinations:  There are many time and temperature combinations that will minimize pathogen growth.  With scientific support a processor should be able to justify a processing temperature and duration.  Below is a chart that shows minimum, maximum and zone of optimum growth temperatures.  Time in the optimum growth zone should be minimized and avoided if possible.


Minimum Growth Temperature

Zone of Optimum Growth Temperatures

Maximum Growth Temperatures

Salmonella spp.

41.4°F (5.2°C)

95°F (35°C) to 109.4°F (43°C)

115.2°F (46.2°C)

Staphylococcus aureus

44.6°F (7°C)

98.6°F (37°C)

118.4°F (48°C)

Campylobacter jejuni

89.6°F (32°C)

107.6°F (42°C) to 109.4°F (43°C)

113°F (45°C)

Yersinia enterocolitica

29.7°F (-1.3°C)

77°F (25°C) to 98.6°F (37°C)

107.6°F (42°C)

Escherichia coli

44.6°F (7°C) to 46.4°F (8°C)

95°F (35°C) to 104°F (40°C)

111.2°F (44°C) to 114.8°F (46°C)

Listeria monocytogenes

31.3°F (-0.4°C)

98.6°F (37°C)

113°F (45°C)

Clostridium perfringens

40°F (4°C)

109.4°F (43°C) to 116.6ºF (47ºC)

122°F (50°C)

Information taken from References (Growth Factors) in the Pathogen Modeling Program found at: