Keeping your food fresh and safe to eat is essential, especially in the hot summer months.
This means taking proper care when storing food in both your refrigerator and freezer.
To ensure that you are keeping your food safe from contamination and spoilage, following a few simple tips can go a long way.
Here are some of the most important guidelines for storing food properly in both your fridge and freezer.
Store Leftovers in Airtight Containers
Leftovers are a great way to save money and reduce food waste.
To ensure the longevity of your leftovers, it’s important to store them in airtight containers and label each container with the date they were made.
This will help you monitor when the food has gone bad and make sure you don’t accidentally eat something that is no longer safe.
Separate Raw Meat, Poultry, Fish and Seafood
Raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood can carry harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning if not cooked properly or stored correctly.
To avoid contamination, it’s important to separate these items from other foods when storing them in the fridge and freezer.
Implementing this can help prevent cross-contamination and help reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Use Proper Containers for Food Storage
Using glass or plastic containers that are specifically designed for food storage is the most effective way of keeping your food safe and protected from spoilage.
Make sure all containers are airtight so no air can get in which could cause bacteria to grow. Proper storage is a necessary step for any product you’re planning to store.
Keep Meats and Dairy Products at the Bottom of Your Fridge
Storing meats and dairy products at the top of your fridge will help prevent any potential spills or drips from contaminating other food items.
This is especially important if you store raw meat, poultry, or seafood in your refrigerator, as these can contain harmful bacteria that need to be contained.
Use a Thermometer
Placing a thermometer in both your refrigerator and freezer will allow you to monitor their temperatures regularly to ensure they are set correctly.
Keeping these appliances within the recommended temperature ranges (between 0°C – 4°C for refrigerators and -18°C for freezers) helps reduce the risk of food spoiling and foodborne illness.
Don’t Overload Your Fridge or Freezer
Overloading your refrigerator or freezer can impede the circulation of cold air, resulting in a higher temperature which can increase the risk of food spoilage and bacterial growth.
Make sure you don’t overfill either appliance to ensure optimal temperature control and food safety.
Clean Your Fridge and Freezer
Regularly cleaning your fridge and freezer is important in order to keep it free from bacteria and food residue.
Ensure you clean the shelves, drawers, walls and door seals with warm water or a mild detergent every few months or as needed.
This will help protect against cross-contamination and reduce the risk of food spoilage and bacterial growth.
Dispose of Spoiled Food
If you notice any food items have gone bad or spoilt, it’s important to dispose of them immediately.
Leaving spoiled food in your fridge or freezer can increase the risk of foodborne illness and cross-contamination.
Follow the First In, First Out System
The first in, first out system is a great way to ensure you are consuming food items before they expire.
This means that when placing any new groceries in your fridge or freezer, make sure you move the oldest food items to the front so you can use them first.
Learn to Read Expiration Dates
Learning to read the expiration dates on food items is an important part of maintaining a food-safe environment.
Be aware that the “use by” date indicates when a product should be consumed, while the “best before” date indicates when a product may start to lose its freshness or flavor but it is still safe to consume.
Here’s a handy guide to dive deeper into the differences.
Storing and handling food safely is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help ensure that your food remains safe to eat and free from contamination.
Make sure you read expiration dates carefully, use proper containers for storage, keep meats at the bottom of your fridge and clean it regularly to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
With these simple steps, you can enjoy fresh and tasty meals with peace of mind knowing that they are stored correctly!