According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, who work regularly with grocery stores, farmers, and manufacturers, there are many ways to prevent bacteria growth in your refrigerator. Today, although this seems like a no-brainer, people are still showing up at clinics, doctor’s offices, and emergency rooms with contamination and bacteria borne illnesses due to improper storage of food in their fridge.
Proper handling of food should be a concern to all citizens, as soon as they walk into the grocery store people should be cautious of what they are purchasing, expiration dates, and the length of time it will be in transport before arriving home to be put away. When shopping you should purchase canned and boxed goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, hot cooked deli and frozen items, and then dairy and fresh meat products. The dangerous temperature for food travelling from the grocer to home is between 4 Celsius and 60 Celsius and the maximum amount of time for travelling is two hours. If you expect to be longer, be sure to carry a cooler in your car, with ice, and place all meat and quick spoilage items in it.
Once you arrive home, according to Eat Right Ontario’s health news, you need to immediately put away all the fresh meats, cold items, and frozen foods. Hot foods should be eaten immediately upon arriving home after being in transport for any length of time.
The ideal temperature for a fridge is 4 Celsius and every fridge should have a thermometer in it to ensure it is maintaining the ideal temperature for food safety. It is important to remember that your fridge doesn’t kill the bacterium that comes from food spoilage, it only slows it down.
Meat should always be packaged separately in bags to prevent it from dripping onto other foods and contaminating them. Meat should be stored on the bottom trays in the fridge on plates near the back, while dairy should be placed on the top shelves near the back. If you are not going to be using the meat products in a day, it is better to freeze it and remove it to thaw before cooking.
Fresh fruits and vegetables should be stored in crispers set to temperatures as specified by the manufacturer. If you buy in bulk, refrigerate the food until you are ready to separate it into individual bags that will be placed in the freezer for longer storage.
Also, although the fridge door is handier, it is important to know that is not the place to store dairy products.
By following these simple rules you will prevent illness within the family and enjoy a healthier, happier dining experience.