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Store food safely

Store food clean and safely

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To reduce the risk of food poisoning always store food properly. To stop bacteria growing some foods need to be kept in the fridge. These will be cooked foods, ready to eat foods, cooked meats and desserts – these will all include a use by date.

To stop bacteria growing in your fridge follow this guide:

1 – The temperature of your fridge be below 5° C

2 – When you’re preparing food, try not to keep it out of the fridge for too long

3 – Leftovers should be cooled as quickly as possible before storing them in the fridge, and eaten within two days

4 – Store your eggs in the fridge

5 – Never store open tins in a fridge – place the contents in a container or bowl instead

Make sure food is cool before storing in your fridge or it could cause the temperature inside the fridge to rise. Also, keep your fridge clean inside to prevent bacteria.

Use by dates

No matter how well food is stored, it won’t last forever.

Foods that tend to go off quickly have a use by date, it can be dangerous to eat them past this date.

Foods with a longer life hold a best before date, they will be at their best quality before this date.

Storing meat

It’s vital you store meat safely in the fridge, this will prevent bacteria from spreading and stop food poisoning.

Clean, sealed containers should be used to store raw meat and poultry. They should also be kept at the bottom of the fridge, this will prevent them dripping or touching of the food.

Read the label on the meat for storage instructions, and never eat after its use by date.

Always keep cooked meat separate from raw meat in the fridge.

store food temperature

Freezing and defrosting food

Freezing meat and fish is safe if you:

Freeze before the use by date

Defrost thoroughly before cooking, you’ll find a lot of liquid coming out of the meat when defrosting, so stand it in a bowl to stop bacteria and its juices spreading to other things

If you intend to cook meat or fish straight away, use a microwave

Always ensure your food is piping hot all the way through before eating

Re-freezing food

Raw meat including poultry or fish, should never be re-frozen once defrosted. You can refreeze cooked meat once, as long as it’s been cooled before going into the freezer. Frozen raw foods can be defrosted once and stored in the fridge for two days before they need to be cooked or thrown away.

Dividing the meal into portions before freezing will reduce waste. Cooked food that’s been frozen and defrosted, must be reheated and eaten immediately. Defrosted food should only be reheated once, as the more times you cool and reheat food, the bigger the risk of food poisoning and bacterial growth. Reheated food should reach a temperature of at least 70° C for two minutes. Foods such as ice cream and frozen deserts shouldn’t put back in the freezer once they have started to defrost.

Reusing food bags

To stop bacteria spreading to ready to eat food;

Always keep raw meat and fish separate from ready to eat food, by using separate bags

Don’t use the same reusable bags for ready to eat food, but have previously been used to hold raw meat or fish

If raw meat juice has spilled into a bag, do not use again.




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