Proper storage helps to:
keep your food at the peak of quality, maintain nutrient levels, slow the growth of illness-causing bacteria, and can save you money too!
Keep your refrigerator at 40°F or below & your freezer at 0°F or below. Use appliance thermometers in the refrigerator/freezer
to monitor. Check thermometers when the refrigerator temperature is at its highest - when refrigerator compressor turns on. If
the temperature is above 40°, adjust the refrigerator dial. Visit fightbac.org
to learn more.
- Refrigerate/freeze perishables as soon as you get home from the store
- Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats within 2 days; other meats within 3 to 5 days
- Use cooked leftovers within 4 days
- Never let raw meat, poultry, eggs, leftovers or cut fresh fruits or veggies sit at room temperature more than 2 hours (1 hour on a hot day - above 90°F)
- Use or discard refrigerated food on a regular basis
- For left-overs, divide foods into shallow containers for rapid cooling
- Do not over-stuff the refrigerator so cold air can circulate
Don't leave foods out on the counter or in hot water to thaw. Food is less safe when left at a temperature above 40°F. Here are three safe ways to defrost food:
- Refrigerator: It may take a little more time, but thawing food in the refrigerator is safer. Make sure liquids do not drip on other foods.
- Cold water: For faster thawing, place food in a leak-proof plastic bag and submerge in cold tap water. Cook food immediately after thawing.
- Microwave: Check for cold spots. Cook meat and poultry immediately after thawing.
Always marinate food in a covered dish in the refrigerator. Don't use marinade used on raw meat or poultry on cooked food - boil it first!
To safely store leftovers, be sure to stock up on shallow containers with lids.
Also, pick up some labels to keep track of the storage date and make sure you are eating food that’s the freshest and safest.
Shopping & Storage