06 Food Temperature Management

All Oiva evaluation guidelines for approved food establishments.

6.2 Temperature Management in Chilled Facilities

Guide/version: 2139/04.02.00.01/2021/5, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • The purpose of this point is to evaluate temperature management in all chilled handling and storage facilities.
  • Quick-freezing of products and temperature management in cold stores is evaluated in point 6.6.
  • The maintenance and calibration of thermometers is evaluated in point 2.3.

Matters to be controlled:

  • Temperatures in chilled facilities and effectiveness of chilling in practice.
  • Adequacy of the chilling of chilling equipment and the appropriateness of the equipment in other respects in relation to operations and conditions, e.g. adequacy of chilling in the summer
  • Temperatures of chilled foodstuffs, if appropriate.
  • Temperature records in own-check.
  • Records of automatic temperature monitoring system, if any, monitoring of results and limit values for alarms.
  • Deviations in temperatures, corrective actions and records of corrective actions.
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-Check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

  • The temperatures in chilled facilities and the adequacy of chilling are appropriate and ensure that food temperatures remain within the range specified in regulatory requirements.
  • Temperatures are monitored and recorded in compliance with own-check and results are monitored.
  • The records of automatic temperature monitoring system, if any, are stored, results are monitored and the limit values for system alarms are appropriately set.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

For example:

  • The temperatures in chilled facilities are appropriate and ensure that food temperatures comply with regulatory requirements. There have been some minor shortcomings in temperatures in chilled facilities, such as brief increases in temperature; the operator has not reacted to them, but they have not impaired food safety.
  • There have been some minor shortcomings in the performance of temperature measurements; for example, measurements specified in own-check have occasionally been neglected.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations that are not in compliance with legislation or impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set time of period.

For example:

  • Temperatures are too high in chilled facilities and food temperatures do not comply with regulatory requirements. There are shortcomings in the temperatures of chilled facilities and products that impair food safety.
  • Temperature measurements have not been carried out in compliance with own-check.
  • There has been a malfunction in the automatic temperature recording equipment which has not been detected.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to rectify the issues within the set time of period. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

For example:

  • Temperatures are too high in chilled facilities and food temperatures do not comply with regulatory requirements. There are shortcomings in the temperatures of chilled facilities and products that jeopardise food safety.
  • Temperature measurements have not been performed at all, or the measurement results of automatic equipment have not been recorded or monitored.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 on food law
  • Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs
  • Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on hygiene rules for food of animal origin
  • Finnish Food Act 297/2021
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021.


Updates in version 5:

  • Guide no. 2139/04.02.00.01/2021 replaces guideline no. 10286
  • List of legislation has been updated.

6.5 Temperature Management in Food Production Processes

Guide/version: 2140/04.02.00.01/2021/7, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This Guideline is applied to all establishments with temperature controlled production processes (excluding establishments that only engage in quick-freezing operations).
  • The purpose of this point is to evaluate, for example, heating (e.g. pasteurisation), thawing and chilling of foodstuffs. Temperature control in the production of cut meat, minced meat and mechanically separated meat is also evaluated in this point.
  • Temperatures are either regulatory requirements or specified in own-check e.g. on the basis of a hazard analysis.
  • The temperature-time combinations do not guarantee the microbiological safety of the products in all processes, e.g. in connection with cold smoking. In these cases it is evaluated if compliance with the temperature-time combination ensures fulfilment of the criteria specified for the shelf life of the product.
  • Freezing of products and temperature control in cold stores are evaluated in point 6.6.
  • The freezing treatment carried out due to the parasite risk in fish is evaluated in point 8.8

Matters to be controlled:

  • Management of food heating, chilling and thawing processes.
  • The heating temperatures and heating time of foods.
  • Effectiveness of the heating of carcases for which heating treatment is a requirement (for example salmonella, EHEC).
  • The chilling temperatures and chilling time of foods, particularly perishable foods.
  • The thawing temperatures of foods, and the thawing time, if appropriate.
  • Management of food temperatures during production.
  • Temperature records.
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-Check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

  • The time and temperature combinations and the monitoring frequencies are specified in own-check for temperature controlled production processes.
  • The temperatures and temperature-time combinations of processes and products comply with the requirements laid down in legislation and in own-check. The operator has verified the achievement or maintenance of the target temperatures of processes and products.
  • Temperatures are monitored and monitoring data are recorded in compliance with own-check.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

For example:

  • The temperatures of processes and products comply with the requirements laid down in legislation and in own-check. There have been some minor shortcomings in the temperatures of processes and products, but they have not impaired food safety.
  • There are some minor shortcomings in the time and temperature combinations of temperature controlled production processes specified in own-check.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations that are not in compliance with legislation or impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set time of period.

For example:

  • The temperatures of processes and products do not comply with the requirements laid down in legislation and in own-check. There are shortcomings in the temperatures of processes and products that impair food safety.
  • For example, minced meat is not chilled adequately quickly after production to max. 2°C.
  • Time and temperature combinations have not been specified in own-check for all temperature controlled production processes.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to rectify the issues within the set time of period. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

For example:

  • The temperatures of processes and products do not comply with the requirements laid down in legislation and in own-check. There are shortcomings in the temperatures of processes and products that jeopardise food safety.
  • For example, canned food is placed on the market although the required temperature or temperature-time combination has not been achieved during its manufacture.
  • Time and temperature combinations have not been specified in own-check for temperature controlled production processes, or the specified combinations jeopardise food safety.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 on food law
  • Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs
  • Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on hygiene rules for food of animal origin
  • Finnish Food Act 297/2021
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021.


Updates in version 7:

  • Guide no. 2140/04.02.00.01/2021 replaces guideline no. 10287
  • List of legislation has been updated.

6.6 Temperature Management of Quick-frozen and Frozen Foodstuffs

Guide/version: 2236/04.02.00.01/2021/8, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This guideline is used to evaluate the temperature management of quick-frozen and frozen foodstuffs as well as their storage and warehousing conditions.
  • This guideline applies both to frozen foodstuffs whose temperature is regulated by regulation (EC) No 853/2004 and to frozen foodstuffs whose temperature is not regulated but for which a storage temperature has been set by the food manufacturer.
  • In registered food premises this guideline is applied only to quick-frozen or frozen products that are intended to be sold frozen. This guideline pertains to the temperatures of products sold or delivered quick-frozen or frozen, during sale, storage and warehousing.
  • In establishments this guideline is applied to foodstuffs intended to be delivered or marketed as quick-frozen/frozen products. In addition this guideline is applied to foodstuffs quick-frozen/frozen for purposes of own production whose temperature is specified in regulation (EC) No 853/2004.
  • This guideline is not applied to establishments where fish undergo freezing treatment required only due to parasite risk. The freezing treatment carried out due to parasite risk of fishery products is evaluated in point 8.8.
  • Decree (818/2012) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is applied to foodstuffs sold or otherwise delivered quick-frozen to consumers, institutional kitchens or the industry. The Decree is not applied to the temperature control of quick-frozen products used as raw materials in food premises or establishments where these quick-frozen products are thawed, baked or otherwise used in the manufacturing of foods (e.g. temperature control of unbaked quick-frozen foods to be baked in the food premises, or quick-frozen products to be used in the preparation of food).
  • Hygiene of quick-freezing, freezing and thawing in establishments is evaluated in point 5.4.
  • Hygiene of quick-freezing, freezing and thawing in food premises is evaluated in point 5.1.
  • Temperature management of the warehousing and storage conditions of chilled foodstuffs in establishments is evaluated in point 6.2.
  • Temperature management in other temperature-controlled processes than quick-freezing and freezing in establishments is evaluated in point 6.5.
  • Temperature management during transport of quick-frozen and frozen foodstuffs is evaluated in point 15.4.
  • During practical inspections the surrounding temperature can be measured while the food business operator is required to demonstrate that at the measured surrounding temperature the temperature of the quick-frozen products is -18 degrees or less.
  • In this guideline short-term refers to a maximum of 24 hours.
  • The demonstration of the fulfilment of standardisation requirements regarding the measuring equipment and temperature-recording systems used in the storage of frozen products, and the functionality and calibration of measuring equipment used for the temperature management of frozen food are evaluated in point 2.3. These standardisation requirements do not apply to the temperature control of frozen food used as raw materials.
  • It is permissible to store in the freezer frozen products past their use-by dates that are intended for food aid. These products must be stored in such a way that they cannot be confused with products intended for manufacture or sale.

Matters to be controlled:

  • Appropriateness of freezing equipment
  • Start of quick-freezing without undue delay after the processing stages preceding quick-freezing
  • Start of freezing without undue delay after the processing stages preceding freezing
  • Temperature management of freezing, quick-freezing and thawing of quick-frozen/frozen foodstuffs
  • Temperature management during storage of quick-frozen/frozen foodstuffs
  • Surrounding temperatures of quick-frozen/frozen foods during warehousing and storage
  • Where necessary, temperatures of quick-frozen products
  • Filling of cold stores for quick-frozen products
  • Filling limits of open-display freezers
  • Appropriateness of temperature records
  • Deviations in temperatures of foodstuffs, corrective actions and records of corrective actions
  • Time and temperature limits for quick-freezing/freezing of mechanically separated meat and for storage of quick-frozen/frozen mechanically separated meat.
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check activities and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled by applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

Quick-freezing is started systematically without undue delay after processing stages preceding quick-freezing.

Food products to be sold or otherwise delivered quick-frozen are frozen using equipment designed for quick-freezing.

The temperatures of quick-frozen foods meet the requirements laid down in legislation.

The temperatures of quick-frozen products have increased by no more than 3 degrees. However, the operator is able to demonstrate that the increase in the temperature of the foodstuff has been short-term.

Cold stores for quick-frozen products and/or open-display freezers are filled in compliance with instructions.

Deviations and corrective actions have been recorded. Corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

The quick-freezing of the foodstuffs is occasionally delayed, but delays are not common, frequent or so long that they would affect the food safety of the products.

The temperatures of quick-frozen products have increased by no more than 3 degrees. The operator is unable to demonstrate that the increase in the temperature of the foodstuff has been short-term. Increases in temperature are non-recurring.

There are some minor shortcomings concerning the filling of cold stores for quick-frozen products and/or open-display freezers.

There are some minor shortcomings in the records of deviations and corrective actions. However, corrective actions have been adequate and appropriate.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

The quick-freezing of foods is frequently started several days after the end of the other stages of the manufacturing process or when the food approaches its use-by date. Delays are common and frequent, although not completely systematic.

The equipment used for the freezing of foods to be sold or otherwise delivered quick-frozen is not designed for quick-freezing, and the operator is unable to demonstrate that the method used ensures that the freezing of the foods proceeds at least one centimetre per hour.

The temperatures of the quick-frozen foods have increased by more than 3 degrees from the specified temperature. Increases in temperature are non-recurring.

The cold stores for quick-frozen products are overcrowded and/or open-display freezers are filled above the filling limit.

Deviations and corrective actions have not been recorded. Corrective actions have been inadequate or have not been carried out.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

The quick-freezing of foods is systematically started at least several days after the end of the other stages of the manufacturing process causing a significant delay in the start of freezing.

Thawed quick-frozen foods not fit for use as food are warehoused, stored and/or sold and/or re-frozen in the food premises or establishments.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, 178/2002/EC
  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs, 852/2004/EC
  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin 853/2004/EC
  • Commission Regulation 37/2005/EC on the monitoring of temperatures in the means of transport, warehousing and storage of quick-frozen foodstuffs intended for human consumption
  • Council Directive 89/108/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to quick-frozen foodstuffs for human consumption
  • Commission Directive 92/2/EEC laying down the sampling procedure and the Community method of analysis for the official control of the temperatures of quick-frozen foods intended for human consumption
  • Finnish Food Act 297/2021
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on quick-frozen products, 818/2012
  • Evira's Guide on the quick-freezing and freezing of foods in food premises 16049.


Updates in version 8

  • The name of the guideline has changed
  • This guideline is a joint guideline for both registered and approved establishments.
  • Freezing of foodstuffs in registered food premises has been changed to be evaluated according to this guideline instead of guideline 5.1
  • The guideline no longer applies to foodstuffs frozen/quick-frozen for purposes of own production in establishments, the temperatures of which are not regulated by regulation 853/2004
  • The guideline applies from now on to frozen foodstuffs for which no temperature is specified but for which the food manufacturer has specified a storage temperature
  • The number of the Food Act has been updated.
  • References to the Decrees of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene in registered food premises 1367/2011 and on food hygiene at establishments 795/2014 have been removed.
  • References to Eviras’s Guides on Food Hygiene in Registered Food Premises and on foods delivered for food aid have been removed.

6.7 Temperature Management of Carcasses Dispatched from Establishment

Guide/version: 2142/04.02.00.01/2021/5, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This Guideline is applied to establishments that slaughter ungulates. Such establishments include slaughterhouses, low-capacity slaughterhouses, reindeer slaughterhouses, slaughterhouses for farmed game and game handling establishments.
  • The purpose of this point is to evaluate temperature management during the transport of the carcasses of domestic ungulates dispatched from the establishment
    • when the carcasses have reached the required temperature before transport, and
    • when carcasses are dispatched from the slaughterhouse or a cutting plant connected to slaughterhouse to another establishment before they have reached the required temperature (referred to as carcasses dispatched warm).
  • The temperature control of carcasses received at the establishment is evaluated in point 15.1 "Reception of Foodstuffs and Commercial Documents".

Matters to be controlled:

  • Verification that the temperature of carcasses during transport complies with requirements
  • As concerns carcasses dispatched warm:
    • Compliance with requirements specified for transport
    • Removal of carcasses from slaughterhouse or cutting plant connected to slaughterhouse
    • Verification of the maximum duration of transport
    • Verification of continuous chilling during transport
    • Informing the receiver of carcasses of the transport temperature of the carcasses and the need for continued chilling.
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check activities and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled by applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

Operations comply with requirements as regards the matters that are controlled. For example:

  • The compliance of the temperature of carcasses with requirements is verified before transport.
  • The compliance with requirements of the temperature of carcasses during transport is verified by verifying parameters during transport with e.g. recording equipment (temperature in load compartment and any air flow).
  • Own-check is adequate and suitable.

Carcasses dispatched warm:

  • Transport takes place in compliance with requirements specified by the competent authority.
  • Carcasses are removed immediately from the slaughterhouse or a cutting plant connected to slaughter facilities.
  • Chilling is continued during transport.
  • The receiver of the carcasses is informed of the duration of chilling before loading, the time at which loading was started, the surface temperature at that time, the maximum transportation air temperature to which meat may be subjected, the maximum transport time permitted, the date of authorisation and the name of the competent authority providing the derogation.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

For example:

  • The temperatures of carcasses exceed temperature limits occasionally and briefly.
  • Own-check is adequate and suitable, and corrective actions have been appropriate and adequate.

Carcasses dispatched warm:

  • There are some minor shortcomings in the compliance of transport with requirements, but they do not impair food safety.
  • The removal of carcasses from the slaughterhouse or a cutting plant connected to slaughterhouse is delayed briefly on occasion.
  • The duration of transport exceeds the limit briefly on occasion, but corrective actions have been appropriate and adequate.
  • The information given to the receiver of the carcasses is slightly deficient.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

For example:

  • The temperatures of carcasses exceed temperature limits repeatedly.
  • There are shortcomings in own-check activities; for example, corrective actions have been deficient or inadequate.

Carcasses dispatched warm:

  • There are shortcomings in the compliance of transport with requirements which impair food safety.
  • The removal of carcasses from the slaughterhouse or a cutting plant connected to slaughterhouse has been repeatedly delayed.
  • The duration of transport has exceeded the limit.
  • The receiver of the carcasses is not informed, especially of the transport temperature of the carcasses and the need for continued chilling.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

For example:

  • The temperature of the dispatched carcasses is not controlled at all.
  • There are serious shortcomings in own-check activities; for example, corrective actions are not carried out or they are inadequate to the extent that food safety is jeopardised.

Carcasses dispatched warm:

  • There are shortcomings in the compliance of transport with requirements which jeopardise food safety.
  • The duration of transport has exceeded the limit repeatedly and significantly, which jeopardises food safety.
  • Corrective actions are not carried out.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs
  • Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on hygiene rules for food of animal origin
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021.


Updates in version 5:

  • Guideline no. 2142/04.02.00.01/2021 replaces guideline no. 10288
  • List of legislation has been updated.

6.8 Temperature Management of Water used in Disinfection of Working Utensils

Guide/version: 2143/04.02.00.01/2021/2, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This Guideline is applied to slaughterhouses, game processing plants and cutting plants, as well as to production establishments of minced meat, meat preparations and mechanically separated meat.
  • If some other method than steam or water at a temperature of at least 82°C is used at the establishment for the disinfection of working utensils, the method is evaluated in applicable parts in this point.
  • The practices of the personnel of the establishment as regards the use of knife sterilisers is evaluated in point 4.1.

Matters to be controlled:

  • Management and monitoring of the temperature of water used in disinfection of working utensils, if appropriate.
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check control and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

The temperature of water used for the disinfection of working utensils is at least 82°C. Temperatures are monitored and monitoring data are recorded in compliance with own-check.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

There are some minor shortcomings in the monitoring of the temperature of water used for the disinfection of working utensils at the establishment. For example:

  • There are some minor shortcomings in the records related to temperature monitoring as concerns deviations and corrective action taken, but corrective actions have been appropriate and adequate.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

The monitoring of the temperature of water used for the disinfection of working utensils has been deficient. For example:

  • Temperature measurements have not been carried out to an adequate extent to verify detection of deficiencies.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

The monitoring of the temperature of water used for the disinfection of working utensils has been neglected. For example:

  • Temperatures have not been measured.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on hygiene rules for food of animal origin.


Updates in version 2:

  • Guideline 10289 is replaced by guideline 2143/04.02.00.01/2021.
  • Reference to the Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on Food Hygiene at Establishments 795/2014 has been deleted.