Proper food storage helps to preserve the quality and nutritional value of the foods you purchase, and also helps make the most of your food dollar by preventing spoilage. Additionally, proper food storage can help prevent foodborne illnesses caused by harmful bacteria.
Buy food from reputable producers or retailers, with a known record for safe handling. Select dated products only if the “sell by” or “use by” date has not expired. While these dates are helpful, they are reliable only if the food has been kept at the proper temperature during storage and handling.
To retain quality and nutritive value, stock only the kinds and amounts of food you can store properly. Proper storage means maintaining a clean refrigerator and freezer. Avoid overcrowding the refrigerator. Arrange items so cold air can circulate freely. To reduce dehydration and quality loss, use freezer wrap, freezer-quality plastic bags, or aluminum foil over commercial wrap on meat and poultry that will be stored in the freezer for more than two months.
Here are a few practical food storage tips for safety and quality.
Quick Tips #2
Use a thermometer to check that the refrigerator is between 35 and 40 degrees F and the freezer at 0 F degrees or below. These temperatures are important in that they prevent the growth of bacteria and keep your food from spoiling.
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