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I posted this in another thread but thought it might be a helpful discussion on it's own - don't want any post Tday illnesses.
In food manufacturing plants the change of temperature after cooking is closely monitored to ensure that food quickly chills through the danger zone. In HACCP plans there is a common cooling chart format used (like this one - http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/hr/forms/documents/5030_070.pdf
The absolute requirement is "
Foods must be cooled from 135°F to 70°F within 2 hours and from 135°F to 41° F or below within 6 hours.
In food plants they have blast chillers (or spiral freezers) - but it is good practice that once food is getting close to 140 (which is much higher than room temperature) - time to get it in the fridge pronto.