Food hygiene is something that you cannot compromise. One of the most basic food hygiene practices is the safe storage of food. This will ensure you do not store the things you cook in a harmful environment.
You can equate safe food to using good quality ingredients. This is very important to ensure the health and safety of every person who will eat the food you cook. If you are a caterer or a retailer, look for trustworthy ingredient suppliers to ensure you are getting the choicest food items any time of the year.
What you should do to keep food safe
The thing to remember is that each type of food or ingredient requires a unique method of storage. You should be mindful about it to avoid cross-contamination. You do not want to cause fatalities because of improper storage. There is even a hierarchy when storing food in the refrigerator, which you should know.
- Keeping food in the refrigerator. Before you store food in the refrigerator, see that it is cold enough to prevent the growth of bacteria. The ideal temperature should be between 0°C and 5°C (32°F and 41°F). Allow the food to cool down before putting it in the refrigerator. Turn the temperature down if the refrigerator is full to maintain the right coldness. Likewise, avoid opening the refrigerator door often as it changes the interior temperature. When the food label says, keep refrigerated, keep it in the fridge. Eat it within two days to prevent spoilage. Store meats, poultry, and fish in sealed plastic bags or containers. Store them at the bottom, so their juices cannot reach any other items.
- Storing dry food. Keep dry food in sealed containers and bags to keep them fresh. Make sure you do not store dry food near chemicals and cleaning products. It is all right to recycle containers. See to it you are using food containers for your dry food. Keep your dry food storage area clean, dry and not very warm.
- Food in tin cans. Put the unused portion of food from a tin can into a bowl with a tight lid and store it in the fridge. It is not advisable to store food in tin cans. Once the can is opened, oxidation occurs and the metal of the can transfer quickly to the food it contains. This rule does not apply to cans with lids, like cocoa and golden syrup. This type of food item does not react with the metal of the can.
- Covering food with cling film. Use cling film only on food items with higher fat content. Examples are raw meat with a layer of fat, cheese, pies and pastries, fried meats, and cakes with chocolate coating or butter icing. You can use cling film in the microwave but do not allow the film to touch the food. Likewise, do not use cling film where there will be chances of it melting into the food.
- Covering food items with aluminium foil. You can use aluminium foil for covering and wrapping most foods. But avoid using it to cover or store acidic foods like tomatoes, soft fruits, cabbage, and rhubarb.
See to it you get the freshest ingredients. Always wrap and cover the foods you prepare and store. Containers with tight lids are your best choice.