Food Safety - Food Storage Guidelines

Food Storage Temperatures

Refrigeration - 35-40° F or 2-6° C.
Freezer - At -4 and 4° F or -20 and -15° C stored in an air-tight container.
Pantry or Dry Storage - Store at approximately 60° F or 15° C.

Refrigerate or freeze perishables right away.

Use thermometers to make sure your refrigerator and freezer are the right temperatures and don't crowd the refrigerator or freezer so tightly that aircan't circulate .

Cooked foods should be refrigerated within two hours after cooking. Don't keep the food if it's been standing out for more than two hours. Do not taste it to see if it is still good.

Be sure to date all leftovers so they can be used within a safe time. Food generally is safe when refrigerated for three to five days, at a temperature between 35-40° F or 2-6° C. When in doubt, throw it away. Check leftovers daily for spoilage. Anything that looks or smells suspicious should be thrown away.

Be sure to check the labels on cans and jars to determine how these foods should be stored. Many items need to be refrigerated after opening.

Don't place cans directly on metal shelves. The metals can react and corrode the cans. A cool, dark place is best. Don't store them where they will freeze or get very hot.

Potatoes and onions should not be stored under the sink because leakage from the pipes can damage the food. Potatoes Shouldn't be stored in the refrigerator. Store them in a cool, dry place.

Do not store foods near cleaning products, pesticides and chemicals because of possible cross contamination.

Food Use By Dates:

Sell by date - the supermarket or grocery store should sell the product by the printed date, but the product still can be safely eaten by the consumer.

Best if used by date- the product should be used by the date listed for the best quality and flavor.

Use by and/or expires by - the product should be used by the date listed. There may be a deterioration in quality and food safety after that date.

Closed or Coded Dates - packing numbers used by the manufacturer to track their products. These codes enable a manufacturer to rotate their stock and locate their products if there is a recall.

Shopping Tips

Put paper, cleaning items, canned and dry goods in your shopping cart first, then the produce, refrigerated items, frozen items and lastly hot deli items.

When you shop for foods, keep all raw meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from ready-to-eat foods in the shopping cart and your grocery bags so as not to drip juices on them. Place raw foods inside plastic bags to keep the juices contained.

Buy cans and jars that look perfect. Always check canned foods for moisture or stickiness, which may indicate a leak. If you purchased cans that are leaking, you should return them to the store.Carefully check dented cans and jars for leakage and rust before buying. Cans and jars should be free of dents, cracks or bulging lids, which can indicate a serious food poisoning threat. Dusty cans or torn labels may indicate old stock.

Always get your food home right away and refrigerate the perishables immediately to prevent any bacteria from multiplying rapidly in the food

When its hot outside, put your groceries in the air-conditioned part of your car instead of the hot trunk.

Food Product Recalls

Storing Canned Foods

Prudent Food Storage:
Questions and Answers

Control of Insect Infestations

Minimizing Molds

Plastic Containers
What is "Food Grade"?

Finding Containers
Pickle Buckets
Glass Jars

Food Safety // foodborn illness // food safety glossary // HAACP// employee hygiene // pest control // calibrating thermometers // safe food temperatures // taking food temperatures // health inspections posted online // about restaurant health inspections // handling food safely // using gloves // Dishwashing // work safety // safe food storage // food product recalls / / hand washing // food labeling // keeping your restaurant clean / / defrosting food safely //