Because of consumer demand, preservatives have been 
removed from many pre-prepared foods. This together 
with the changes in shopping habits to a once-a-week 
shop, mean that safe handling and storage of food is 
even more important than ever.
The following tips should help you to ensure that the 
food in your home is in as perfect condition as possible.
Keep the time between buying chilled food and 
placing it in your fridge as short as possible. Tests 
showed that the temperature of 1 litre of orange 
juice rose to 22
C in an hour between the 
supermarket and home. It then took 11 hours to 
get down to 7
C in the refrigerator.
Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as 
possible. Remember that warm air is flowing in 
as you are deciding what to have for tea!
Do not push food together too much, try to allow 
air to circulate around each item.
Cool cooked food as quickly as possible but do 
NOT place in the refrigerator or freezer until 
cool. (Leave food in a place as cool as possible in 
order that it can then be placed in the 
refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible).
Do NOT mix raw and cooked meat, they must be 
in separate containers. Take care not to let the 
meat juices drip onto other food. If the meat does 
drip, remove everything and clean thoroughly.
Do not store food uncovered.
The best way to defrost food is to put it in the 
refrigerator to thaw slowly.
Remove suspect food from your refrigerator and 
clean the interior with a solution of bicarbonate of 
soda in warm water (5ml to 0.5 litre of water).
Never allow spillages to dry and harden.
Ensure that food placed in the freezer is dated 
and labelled and used in date order to ensure that 
food is consumed at its best.
It is important that food is used before its “best 
before” date.
Store eggs in the egg rack provided in the 
refrigerator door. Discard any broken or chipped 
Regularly check the refrigerator door seal to 
ensure that it is clean and free from bits and 
Always wash your hands with soapy water and 
dry them with a clean towel before handling food.
Keep work surfaces clean and avoid cross 
contamination by not using the same work 
surface or knife, without washing them 
thoroughly in between.
Use kitchen roll wherever possible for cleaning 
up food. If you use a dishcloth, be sure to boil it