How to Store Food Safely

October 18, 2012

Food, Healthy Life

How to Store Food Safely

How to Store Food Safely

Food poisoning can appear in a dish that looks perfectly fine from the outside, but the build-up of harmful bacteria is what can be dangerous for your health. With more than 850,000 people every year suffering from food poisoning, it’s important that you store your food safely. Food poisoning is extremely unpleasant and manifests in symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, and nausea.

Keep Food Cool

Many products need to be kept in the fridge to inhibit the growth of bacteria. This includes ready-made foods such as puddings and cooked meats. These products must be kept at a temperature below 5C and see very little time outside of the fridge. If you are planning on cooking for a buffet, all dishes should be stored in the fridge until needed.

When you make leftovers for the next day, you should cool the dish within 90 minutes and store it in the fridge. Eat within two days or bacteria will start to develop.

Some people think it’s fine to store eggs outside of the fridge, but you should keep them chilled as they easily develop nasty bacteria. Furthermore, don’t put metal tins in the fridge: empty the tin’s contents into a container and refrigerate that instead, as the metal can transfer into your food.

Never stick hot food in the fridge as it can promote the build-up of bacteria. Clean out your fridge regularly as the leftover residue from previous food can increase your chances of food poisoning.

“Use By” Dates

Best before

Best before

You may not know that there is a difference between “use by” and “best before”. “Use by” means that your product goes off speedily and consuming these foods beyond their “use by” date can be particularly bad for you.

“Best before” dates are stuck on products that comparatively last longer. This is more an indication of when the quality of your product will start to deteriorate.

Storing Meat

Store raw meat in sealed containers that won’t touch or drip on other products. An easy way to avoid this completely is to keep them on the bottom shelf. It’s crucial that you don’t eat meat past its “use by” date.

Freezing and Defrosting

It’s fine to freeze meat as long as you freeze it before its “use by” date and defrost the meat properly before you start cooking. Make sure that you wrap up your meat thoroughly before adding to the freezer or it can get freeze burn, which makes the product tough and unappetising. To make things easier for you, always date and label the meat and consume it within a reasonable amount of time – don’t just leave it to lie there forever.


Don’t ever refreeze defrosted raw meat once you have defrosted them. Cooked meat is fine to refreeze once as long as it has been cooled properly before being placed back in the freezer.

Defrosted raw meat can stay in your fridge for up to two days, so plan carefully before freezing to minimise waste.

Guest article written for by Leanne, a full time mum and part time blogger.

How to Store Food Safely

This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!
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