Your fridge may be tidy and organised, but is it working to keep your kitchen safe? Do you know where certain foods should be stored for maximum shelf life and how to make sure your family’s health is protected? Whether you’re storing food in the refrigerator or the freezer, there are plenty of ways to combat food-born illnesses such as Salmonella and E. coli. A Hotpoint fridge offers state-of-the-art features – including antibacterial protection and fast-freeze compartments – and by making sure you keep foods chilled at the proper temperature, you can eliminate the spread of harmful bacteria in your home.
Keep refrigerated food in tip-top condition
As bacteria can multiply rapidly in foods left at room temperature, always leave food to marinate in the refrigerator. If you’re planning to use marinating liquid as a sauce, make sure you bring it to a rapid boil first.
Clean the refrigerator regularly and wipe any spills immediately. Drips from thawing meat can easily spread bacteria from one food to another, so make sure you keep your fridge as clean as possible to reduce the growth of harmful germs.
Keep foods covered. Store refrigerated foods in covered containers or sealed bags, and check leftovers daily for spoilage. Store eggs in their carton in the refrigerator itself rather than on the door, where the temperature is warmer and can cause them to go off prematurely.
Check expiration dates. If food is past its “use by” date, discard it. If you’re not sure or if it looks questionable, throw it out. It really is better to be safe than sorry.
Store all raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood products on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Leave them in their original packaging and wrap them in a plastic bag to prevent any leaking juices dripping onto other foods.
Store fruit and vegetables separately. Vegetables should be stored in the warmest part of the refrigerator (the bottom drawers), as they require a temperature of about 10°C to maintain optimum freshness.
Make the most of your freezer’s potential
Food that is properly cooked and frozen is safe, and whilst freezing does not kill most bacteria, it does stop it from growing and spreading. Freezing does not reduce nutrients in a food and there is little change in a food’s protein value whilst it remains in your freezer.
Though food will be safe indefinitely at 0° F, quality will decrease the longer it stays in the freezer. Tenderness, flavour, aroma, juiciness, and colour can all be affected, so make sure you consume the contents of your freezer within a reasonable time period.
When cooking commercially frozen foods straight from the freezer, make sure you follow the instructions on the package to ensure that they are cooked safely and thoroughly.
Freezer burn is a food quality issue and does not mean that food is unsafe. Appearing as greyish-brown leathery spots on frozen food, it can occur when food is not securely wrapped in airtight packaging. Ensure that leftovers are stored in tight containers to minimise spoiling.