Chilled storage of foods
Some foods need to be kept chilled to keep them safe, for example food with a ‘use by’ date, food that you have cooked and won’t serve immediately, or other ready-to-eat food such as prepared salads. If these foods are not properly chilled, bacteria can grow and make people ill.
What you need to do
Use a fridge thermometer to check the temperature of your fridge regularly. The coldest part of the fridge should be between 0°C and 5°C. Some foods must be kept below 5o C. Always read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
keep a fridge thermometer in the coldest part and check the temperature at least daily
keep the most perishable foods, like cooked meats, in the coldest part of the fridge
return perishable foods to the fridge or freezer as soon as possible after use
remember to keep raw food below ready-to-eat food in the fridge, or if possible use separate fridges for raw and ready-to-eat food.
wrap or cover all raw or uncooked foods so that they can't touch or drip on other foods and contaminate them
to keep the fridge cold, don't overload it or leave the door open longer than necessary
don't put hot food in the fridge - let it cool first
don't keep food beyond its "use by" date
follow storage instructions given on food packages
Frozen storage of foods
Foods manufactured to remain frozen, such as ice-cream, should be stored in your freezer as soon as they are delivered.
The freezer acts as a pause button, bacteria cannot grow at -18°C or lower. You can freeze pre-packaged food right up to the 'use by' date. It is important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions as some foods are not suitable for freezing.
Homemade foods should be frozen as soon as possible. It is good practice not to keep homemade frozen food longer than 28 days, labelling the food will help you determine how long the food has been frozen.
Raw and ready to eat food should be stored away from each other.
Storing hot food for display
Food kept hot for service must be kept at or above 63o C. Cold food must be reheated before being placed in the hot hold equipment. It is not safe to allow the food to slowly warm in the equipment.
If the food has been out for more than two hours throw it away.