Health and Safety Guidelines

7
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.
Health and Safety Guidelines
¥ Keep the freezer door closed as much as possible.
¥ 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 freezer until cool. (Leave food in
a place as cool as possible in order that it can then
be placed in the refrigerator as soon as possible).
¥ Do not store food uncovered.
¥ The best way to defrost food is to put it in the
refrigerator to thaw slowly.
¥ 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
beforeÓ date.
¥ 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.
¥ The foods to be frozen must be fresh and of the
best quality.
¥ 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.
Important
In the event of a power failure causing  the temperature within your freezer to rise, do not re-
freeze the food without checking its condition. The following guidelines should assist you:
Ice-cream: once thawed should be discarded.
Fruits & Vegetables: if soft should be cooked and used up.
Breads & Cakes: can be re-frozen without danger.
Shellfish: should be refrigerated and used up quickly.
Cooked Dishes: i.e. casseroles should be refrigerated and used up.
Large Pieces of Meat: can be re-frozen providing there are still ice crystals remaining within them.
Small Joints: should be cooked and can then be re-frozen as cooked dishes.
Chicken: should also be cooked and re-frozen as a cooked dish.