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
¥ 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
¥ 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 until cool. (Leave food
in a cool place in order that it can then be placed in
the refrigerator 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 (see ÒMaintenance and
¥ 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 Òbest
¥ 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 debris.
¥ 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
¥ The foods to be frozen must be fresh and of the
¥ The size of each pack should be small enough to
ensure that it is used in one go. Small packs freeze
more quickly and uniformly and give better results.
¥ Frozen food, once thawed, must not be refrozen.
Lean food keeps better and longer than fatty food,
salt reduces the storage time.
¥ Wrap the food in polythene or aluminium freezing
bags or foil so that they adhere to the food and
provide an airtight seal.
¥ Packaging which is swollen or has traces of
refrozen water droplets on the pack could indicate
that the product has not been kept at a suitable
temperature and that it may have lost its original
quality. Partially thawed food must not be refrozen,
it must be consumed within 24 hours. Never
exceed the storage time indicated.
¥ Never place hot food, bottles or cans of fizzy drink
in the freezer as they may explode. Containers with
a lid must not be filled to the brim.
¥ Do not open the door or place extra fresh food in
the freezer next to food which is already frozen as
this could cause the temperature of the frozen food
to rise and its quality and storage life to reduce.
Health and Safety Guidelines