When researching cooking temperatures for sous vide chicken, I came across this website among others that claimed that chicken is pastaurized if held at temperatures as low as 60°C for sufficient time. However, the website provided no sources for this claim.

According to the FDA 2013 food code 3-401.11(A)(3), the only safe way to prepare chicken is at 74°C for 15 seconds. I was unable to find corresponding EU guidelines.

Does anyone know of official food safety guidelines that describe procedures for pasteurizing chicken at temperatures less than 74°C? They can be from any country, but preferably within the EU where I am located. I am cooking for someone who is in the risk group for food-bourne pathogens, so it is important that the procedure is equally safe. Even so, I'd like to avoid over-cooked chicken if possible!

I am aware of Douglas Baldwin's site which contains detailed information on the issue, however it all seems to be original research.

  • Conventional chefs only care about temperature and never quite understand the factor of time, as a result when a temperature guideline is given they already shorten the time at the required temperature to the minimum measurable amount. As a result FDA is quite reluctant on giving any temperature guidelines that require holding it for more than a few seconds. Sep 10, 2020 at 11:18
  • @user3528438 Yes, I understand why it is more difficult with cooking methods that require higher temperature than the target... However, FDA does publish holding times for whole meat roasts and some other types of meat. I was hoping it might have been published somewhere else for chicken
    – Vegard
    Sep 10, 2020 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


The USDA gives detailed guidance on time and temperature to kill salmonella. For cooking chicken at 60°C (which, to me, tastes undercooked) at a pessimistic level of fat, that's 35 minutes; at 65°C (tastier) it's 5.4 minutes. Note that these are holding temperatures: they refer to time once the target temperature has been reached, not from the beginning of cooking. And keep in mind that the chicken will never quite reach the temperature of the liquid it's in.

  • Thanks! That's very useful, and supports the idea that lower heat levels can be used. I'd love to see similar info about a wider range of pathogens
    – Vegard
    Sep 8, 2020 at 6:16

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