It’s important to keep cold food cold and hot food hot, so that your food never reaches what is referred too as the “temperature danger zone.” This is where bacteria can grow quickly and cause food poisoning.
Set your refrigerator at 4°C(40°F) or lower and your freezer at -18°C(0°F) or lower. Bacteria can grow quickly under the right conditions. The temperature danger zone for food is between 4°C(40°F) to 60°C(140°F). I recommend purchasing a thermostate for your fridge and another one for your freezer so you have a visual cue how your fridge is working.
Keep your raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood cold. Refrigerate or freeze them as soon as possible or within two hours of purchasing your meat or poultry. Separate your resent purchase from other food in your frige. Store them in different sealed containers or plastic bags.
To keep raw juices from dripping on other food, store these items on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator or place them on a tray with a raised edge.
Store deli meats in the refrigerator and use them within four days or, preferably, two to three days after opening.
Store washed, cut fruit and sliced vegetables in the refrigerator, separate from the raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood.
Cook raw meat, poultry, fish, and seafood no more than two to three days after purchasing. If you do not intend to cook it within this time, it should be frozen.
The safest way to thaw food, especially raw meat, poultry, fish or seafood, is in the refrigerator. Always defrost food in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave-never at room temperature. Food defrosted in the microwave should be cooked as soon as possible after thawing. Do not re-freeze thawed food. Wash your hands and clean and sanitize the sink, utensils, surfaces and dishes used when thawing the food.
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