Food Safety Tips

Food that goes in the fridge

Some food needs to be kept in the fridge to help stop bacteria from growing on it, such as food with a ‘use by’ date, cooked food and ready-to-eat food such as desserts and cooked meats.

Make sure your fridge is cold enough

You need to make sure your fridge is cold enough otherwise food poisoning bacteria will still be able to grow. Your fridge should be between 0ºC and 5ºC.

Here are a few other fridge tips that you might find useful:

  • keep the fridge door closed as much as possible
  • wait for food to cool down before you put it in the fridge
  • if your fridge is full, turn the temperature down to help keep it cold enough

Keeping food in the fridge

To help stop bacteria from growing, remember:

  • When the label says ‘keep refrigerated’, make sure you do keep the food in the fridge. If the food isn’t labelled with any storage instructions and it’s a type of food that goes off quickly, you should put it in the fridge and eat it within two days.
  • Some jars and bottles need to be kept in the fridge once they’ve been opened. Always check the label and follow any storage instructions.
  • When you’re preparing food, keep it out of the fridge for the shortest time possible, especially when the weather (or the room) is warm.
  • If you have made some food (such as a sandwich or a cold dish) and you’re not going to eat it straight away, keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it.
  • If you’re having a party or making a buffet, leave the food in the fridge until people are ready to eat. Generally, you shouldn’t leave food out of the fridge for more than four hours.
  • Cool leftovers as quickly as possible (ideally within one to two hours) and then store them in the fridge. Eat any leftovers within two days, except for cooked rice, which you should eat within one day to help avoid food poisoning.

It’s almost that time of year again

Leftover turkey

It’s very important to keep cooked meat and poultry in the fridge. If they are left out at room temperature, food poisoning bacteria can grow and multiply. So, after you have carved your turkey (or other bird), cool any leftovers as quickly as possible (within one to two hours), cover them and put them in the fridge.

When you’re serving cold turkey, try to take out only as much as you’re going to use and leave the rest in the fridge. Don’t leave a plate of turkey or cold meats out all day. Put it back in the fridge as soon as you can, ideally within an hour.

If you’re reheating leftover turkey or other food, always make sure it’s steaming hot all the way through before you eat it. And don’t reheat more than once. Ideally, try to use leftovers within 48 hours.

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