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     . Blog  . Storing Food Safely

    Storing Food Safely

    Whether putting food in the refrigerator, the freezer, or the dry-storage, stopping foodborne illnesses should be at the forefront of your mind. Here are some food storage tips that will help you keep your customers or family safe from foodborne illnesses.

    Proper Food Storage

    Storage Basics

    1. You should always refrigerate or freeze perishables right away. A good rule is never allowing any foods that require refrigeration to sit at room temperature for more than two hours, or one hour if the air temperature is above 90° F.
    2. Make sure all of your refrigerators and freezers are kept at the proper temperatures. Thermometers are the a good way to ensure this, but a remote temperature monitoring system is the very best way to ensure your appliances are maintaining a safe temperature.
    3. Always check storage directions on labels. Sometimes items that you wouldn’t think do need refrigeration.
    4. Use ready-to-eat foods, such as lunch meats, as soon as possible. Ready-to-eat foods can grow bacteria after being in refrigeration too long.
    5. Always throw away food that you’re not sure about. Food can make you very sick even when it doesn’t look, smell, or taste spoiled. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

    Refrigeration Tips

    1. Always marinate food in the refrigerator, not at room temperature, to ensure that bacteria does not grow on it.
    2. Clean the refrigerator regularly to ensure that bacteria does not grow and transfer to unspoiled foods.
    3. Always keep foods in the refrigerator covered, and in a container when possible.
    4. Always check expiration dates. A “use by” date means that the manufacturer recommends using the product by this date for the best flavor or quality, but the date is not an indication of safety for that food.

    Non-Refrigerated Item Tips

    1. Always check canned goods for damage. If a can is damaged bacteria may have grown inside the can.
    2. Keep food away from household cleaning products, chemicals, and other items that would cross-contaminate them.

    Facts About Freezing

    1. Food that is properly frozen and cooked is safe. Food that is properly handled and stored in the freezer at 0° F (-18° C) will remain safe. While freezing does not kill most bacteria, it does stop bacteria from growing.
    2. Freezing does not reduce nutrients.
    3. Freezer burn usually does not mean food is unsafe, but does mean that quality is compromised. Wrapping food in air-tight packaging will usually ensure that food does not get freezer burn.
    4. Refrigerator and freezer thermometers should be monitored closely for proper temperature. Once again, a remote temperature monitoring system is the very best way to ensure your appliances are maintaining a safe temperature.

    For more information about what E-Control Systems can do for your food service business, take a look at our Food Service solutions.