Storing food properly is essential for keeping food safe to consume at a later date. A variety of packaging options are available for use in the refrigerator and the freezer. Choosing the appropriate method for the food item will ensure that it has the best chance of survival against harmful bacteria.
Follow these food storage guidelines to ensure that food is properly stored and protected from bacteria growth.
- 1 Avoid overstuffing the refrigerator to allow cool air to circulate within the appliance.
- 2 Keep the refrigerator between 32ºF and 40ºF.
- 3 Spread leftovers between shallow, sealable packages and refrigerate or freeze them within 2 hours.
- 4 Food may not smell, taste, or feel bad even if it has harmful bacteria.
- 5 Raw meats should be kept in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 days before being cooked.
- 6 Cooked meats and lunch meat can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days.
- 7 Never refreeze meat without cooking it first.
- 8 Clean the refrigerator, freezer, cabinets, and pantry regularly to avoid bacteria buildup.
- The refrigerator is set to between 32ºF and 40ºF.
- The refrigerator to promote proper cool air circulation.
- Storage areas are cleaned regularly to avoid bacteria buildup.