Safely storing food in the fridge


To reduce the risk of food poisoning or contamination, it's important to make sure food stored in your fridge is handled properly. Storing food properly keeps air flowing around the fridge, helping your stuff stay cool. We've written this guide to show you how.


Storing food

There are some simple things you can do to make sure your food stays fresh as long as possible and keep your fridge working at its best.

  • Don't overfill the shelves. Crowded shelves can stop cold air from flowing properly
  • Keep similar foods together
  • Never put cooked meat or leftovers under raw meat, poultry or seafood
  • Put all raw meat, poultry or seafood on the bottom shelf
  • Don't put eggs in the fridge
  • Store fruit and vegetables separately. Vegetables should be kept in the bottom drawers
  • Don't put open tins in the fridge, as metal from the tin can get into the food. Empty the tin into a container and cover it before putting it in the fridge
  • Make sure that all bottles and jars are properly closed
  • Wrap all open food in cling film or foil
  • Don't put hot food in the fridge – this will raise the temperature inside the fridge, helping bacteria to grow
  • Cover or pack different foods separately to stop any transfer of flavour
  • Don't open the door more often than you need to


Best before and use by dates

Food that has a 'use by' date can go off quite quickly, and eating it past the date can be unsafe – even if it smells or looks OK. You should always get rid of any food that's past its use by date.

Food that's got a 'best before' date will last a bit longer, and should be OK to eat – but it might not be as good as if it were fresh.


Freezing and defrosting

Here are some tips to make sure you're freezing your meat and fish safely:

  • Make sure food is frozen before its 'use by' date
  • Make sure meat and fish are defrosted properly before cooking
  • Lots of liquid will come from meat while it thaws out. To stop bacteria from spreading, stand meat in a bowl while it defrosts
  • If you're going to use it straight away, you can defrost food in the microwave
  • If you want to defrost foiod overnight, cover it up and put it in the fridge so it doesn't get too warm
  • Meat that's kept in the freezer should be labelled to make sure it's not in there too long. When you've defrosted it, you should use it within two days

If you wanted any more help or advice, contact a Team Knowhow Expert here.

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