Storage- Food Safety Basics

Foods should be protected from time and temperature abuse by purchasing according to the storage space available. Keep food in rooms designated for storage — not in restrooms or hallways. Do not store frozen, refrigerated or dry food directly on the floor or under overhead pipes. Place food on shelves or on mobile equipment at least six inches off the floor. Space foods so air can freely flow around them.

Monitor expiration dates and rotate stock. Use the “FIFO” principle – first in, first out.

Freezer Storage

• Maintain freezers at 0 F or lower. Monitor and record temperatures regularly.
• Defrost units regularly. During defrosting, store frozen foods in another freezer.
• Do not refreeze thawed foods unless they have been thoroughly cooked.

Refrigerator Storage

• Maintain refrigerators at 41 F or lower. Place thermometers in the warmest and coldest areas of refrigerators; measure and record air temperature regularly.
• Do not store raw uncooked meats above prepared foods.

Dry Storage

• Keep canned and dry goods dry.
• Label and date all dry goods.
• Measure and record temperature regularly.
• Keep all goods in clean wrappers and containers. In most cases, wrap products in moisture proof and air-tight materials.
• Do not store foods taken from their original containers in galvanized (zinc-coated) containers such as garbage cans. In addition, food should not be stored in enamelware, which may chip. Tomatoes, fruit punches or sauerkraut should not be stored in metal containers (unless made of stainless steel), due to potential leaching out of metals and other potential toxicants. Foods may be stored in food-grade plastic or glass containers.

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