There are some steps you can take to ensure that the way you store food reduces your risk of contracting a food-related illness. Precautions include:
- Refrigerating or freezing perishable as soon as you get home from shopping. The proper temperature for a refrigerator is 40°F (5°C) and the freezer should be 0°F (-18°C). You should check these temperatures on a regular basis.
- It is acceptable to store meat and poultry in the plastic wrap from the store for a couple of days. If part is to be used and part is to be saved, the portion to be returned should be wrapped, though it may be loosely, provided that the juices cannot escape and contaminate other stored foods.
- Foods to be stored in the freezer should be wrapped tightly. Leftovers should only be stored in tight containers.
- It is best to store eggs, in their store-carton, within the actual refrigerator, rather than the door, which is actually warmer.
- Seafood, obviously, should always remain in the refrigerator or freezer until it is ready to be prepared and served.
- Trying to fit too much in the refrigerator or freezer with stop air circulation, which is bad.
- If anything looks or smells gross, then through it out.
- Mold is an obvious, though not particularly dangerous, sign of that food is spoiling. Food should be thrown out if there is mold on it.
- Always check items for expiration date and storage instructions. Some need to be kept cold, and if not refrigerated, they should be thrown out.
- If canned goods are sticky on the outside, this is a good indication that they are leaking. These should be returned to the store.