Skip to main content

What Temperature Does FDA Require for Processing Barbecue Sauce?

Get Answers

What Temperature Does FDA Require for Processing Barbecue Sauce?


Are co-packers required to cook barbecue sauce at a certain temperature regulated by the FDA to ensure shelf life is certain? If so, what temperature is required? Also, what is the lowest temperature a barbecue sauce can cooked at and still maintain shelf life according to the FDA?


We assume you are referring to a hermetically sealed, shelf-stable product (as opposed to a refrigerated one). Your product needs to undergo a thermal process that will render it commercially sterile. The proper temperature is dependent on a number of factors, including the pH of your product, and how fast it heats based on the type of processing equipment you are using. Section 402(a)(4) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act states that a food shall be deemed adulterated "if it has been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health." The regulatory means used to protect against food and dietary supplement contamination is to manufacture them in accordance with good manufacturing practices (GMP). GMP regulations for food can be found in section 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 110, click here to view. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conceded primary jurisdiction in this area to state and local authorities. You may want to contact the food science department of your state's university as a starting point to determine the proper thermal process for your product.

Ask an Attorney

We invite you to submit a question related to the regulations of packaging materials to our Keller and Heckman packaging attorneys.
Ask a Question