Refrigerated food storage guidelines

Written by cassie damewood
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Refrigerated food storage guidelines
Following refrigeration guidelines keeps foods fresh longer. (FOOD image by JurMax from Fotolia.com)

Refrigerating food keeps it fresh and tasty and deters spoilage. Some foods stay good for long periods of time and others spoil quickly. Following proper food storage guidelines for refrigeration reduces food contamination and waste.

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Packaging

Properly packaged and sealed food lasts longer than items stored in open or unsealed containers. Airtight plastic storage containers work well, as do sealable plastic bags, foil and cling film. Make sure packaging materials are non-porous to keep out vapours and moisture.

Temperatures

Food lasts longest and stays freshest when stored at temperatures between 1.11 and 4.44 degrees Celsius. Temperatures under 1.11 degrees C may freeze foods with high moisture contents and destroy their fibres. Food stored at temperatures above 4.44 degrees C spoil more quickly. Periodically test the refrigerator's temperature with an outdoor or refrigerator thermometer.

Considerations

Even the most perfectly packaged foods stored at appropriate temperatures are perishable. Use leftovers as soon as possible. If you will not consume food within a few days, consider freezing it for optimum preservation.

Cleaning

Refrigerator cleanliness is important to keep food safe. Clean and sanitise your refrigerator surfaces regularly and discard spoiled food or old leftovers promptly.

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