How to Store Food
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Don’t ignore Product Quality Warning Signs

Foods, even in our modern distribution system, can become contaminated during manufacture, distribution, or while being held for retail sale. Signs of product quality issues can be bulging or dented cans or broken and/or unsealed packaging.  

Don’t Store your Foods Uncovered

Uncovered foods, are prime landing spots for flying pests (and the diseases they transport) or floating germs seeking a host. 

Don’t Allow Unsanitary Surfaces to Touch your Refrigerated Foods or Food Products

Do not allow any unsanitary surface (such as the outside of a food container to touch any refrigerated food or food product. 

Don’t Store Raw Meats Above Vegetables

Raw meat juices can drip down onto foods stored below them, contaminating the target food with whatever pathogens were hiding out on the raw meat. Always store susceptible foods above raw meats. Raw meat should, in turn, be stored in leak proof containers, like a meat drawer, glassware, plastic bags or containers etc. 

Don’t Leave the Refrigerator or Freezer Door Open for Extended Periods

Leaving the refrigerator or freezer doors open for any length of time, renders the appliance useless at its main job of maintaining foods at specified temperatures. If the temperature falls in any of your cold holding appliances, your cold stored foods can enter The Food Danger Zone, very quickly. Commercial refrigeration units have external thermometers for constant and quick spot checks. It is not a bad practice to install a thermometer in your refrigeration appliances or at least to periodically spot check them.

Don’t Use Newer Foods of the Same Type Before Using the Same Older Purchased Foods

The idea is to use older product, the product that might go bad first. In accounting and food service, the idea is called First In First Out (FIFO). At home, the best way to manage FIFO is to put newer purchases behind or under older purchases, making it easier and more natural to access the older product first. If you are not doing FIFO, you should try it and see improvements in product freshness and your budgets.  

Don’t Store Foods on the Floor

If you store foods on the floor, you make it easier for both pests (bugs and/or rodents) to access the foods. You also make it easier for anything kicked up by passing foot traffic (dander, dust etc.) to possibly contaminate your foods.

Don’t Marinate Foods on the Counter at Room Temperature

Similar to thawing at room temperature or marinating at room temperature, risks holding foods in The Food Danger Zone for too long and allowing pathogens to grow.