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Food Safety Do’s and Don’ts for Ramadan

Posted by Zoya Sattar, Public Affairs Specialist, Food Safety and Education Staff, Food Safety and Inspection Service in Health and Safety
Mar 31, 2023
A family observing Ramadan at the table with a meal

As Ramadan, the month of fasting in Islam begins, families are looking forward to gathering for community and home-cooked meals. Here are three food safety tips to keep handy as you whip up your favorite meals for a spectacular iftar (the meal eaten after sunset during Ramadan).

  1. Cook to a safe internal temperature. Timing is everything when rushing to have food on the table, but don’t rush the cooking process! Give yourself ample time to ensure your meat and poultry dishes reach a safe internal temperature as measured by a food thermometer:
    • Lamb and beef, whole cuts: 145 F.
    • Lamb and beef, ground: 160 F.
    • All poultry, whole or ground: 165 F.
  2. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Food may not last long on the table once iftar time hits, but remember, cold foods should be kept under 40 F and hot foods should be kept above 140 F.
  3. Remember the 2-hour rule. In the hurry to clean up after iftar, don’t forget to safely store your food. Never leave perishable food out at room temperature over two hours as bacteria that can cause foodborne illness will start to grow to unsafe levels in the “Danger Zone” – the temperature range between 40 F and 140 F.

Need more information about food safety? Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-MPHotline (888-674-6854) to talk to a food safety specialist, email or chat live at from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

Category/Topic: Health and Safety