The Green/Pink Dress Challenge—Food Edition

Remember a few years ago the weird dress challenge on Facebook where people saw either a green or a pink dress?  For us here at served®, the food version of that goes to the heart of our product performance claims.  I like my coffee to cool off a bit before I drink it, but my husband always drinks his coffee out of an insulated mug with the lid on it to keep his coffee to a temperature I find unpalatable. 

There are basic cooking and storage temperatures that are designed to fend off foodborne pathogens.  That’s why you cook poultry to an internal temperature of 165 degrees and refrigerators keep food to 41 degrees or below.  We at served® always want you to be mindful of those guidelines.  When in doubt, throw it out. 

Beyond that, though, when we’re trying to come up with the magic number for how long our Bowls will keep hot food hot or cold food cold, we get into the green/pink conundrum.  I found all sorts of foodie blogs making assertions about the ideal temperature at which to eat different foods.  According to, most people like hot coffee to be at or above 155 degrees.  According to, science says that soup is best between 136 and 162 degrees…?!?!  When I reheated my lunch in the microwave the other day, I found that it tasted really great to me at 98 degrees.  We all know people who find ice water too cold for their teeth, and others who can’t stand room temperature beverages.  What’s green to me is pink to you, and what is hot to me is lukewarm to you.

Further complicating this, the actual temperature retention of our products depends heavily on the food and air around the food, which is going to vary from person-to-person and use-to-use.  For instance, if you put a small scoop of potato salad into a bowl that has been sitting on the counter, put the lid on, and then leave it out in the hot sun on the boat, you’re going to have a very different result than if you fill the bowl nearly to capacity with cold gazpacho soup, put it uncovered in the fridge to chill the remaining space, and then seal it and keep it in the shade at the picnic.  The next blog installment will get into the wacky world of thermodynamics to help explain some of this—and why it is difficult for us to make “bowl-d” claims about served®’s product performance.

Written by Bryn Wilson

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