Every food item has a home, and storing food safely is just as important as handling and cooking it properly. Poor hygiene can lead to contamination of any food1 but some foods need extra special care. These are:
Raws: raw meats! fish, shellfish, poultry and eggs. They can harbour the bacteria that cause food poisoning.
Roots: root vegetables such as potatoes, leeks and carrots. Bacteria in soil can cling to these foods – and other fruits and vegetables grown near to the ground.
Readies: ready-to-eat foods such as salads, fruit, cooked meats, cheeses and sandwiches. They can easily be contaminated by the harmful bacteria found on our hands, in the kitchen and even on some Raws and Roots.
So, to ensure you enjoy food at its best and don’t put yourself at risk of contracting food poisoning, follow Franks’s helpful tips to safe storage.
Raws and Readies belong in the fridge – but in separate covered containers. Place raw meat, poultry and fish on a low shelf and make sure they can’t drip onto other foods.
Keep dairy products in the fridge too.
Many food jars need to go in the fridge once they’ve been opened – check the labels to see which ones. Never put open cans in the fridge – transfer contents into a storage container or covered bowl.
Store Roots away from other fruit and veg, in a dark place if possible. Throw away any fruit or veg that starts to rot.
Keep pests out. After opening packets of dried foods (eg flour, rice, and breakfast cereals) reseal them tightly or transfer contents to storage jars.
Select storage jars and containers with tightly fitting lids – always wash and allow them to dry thoroughly after use.
Cover dishes and other open containers with foil or film. Don’t re-use foil or film.
Keep all food cupboards clean, cool, tidy and dry.
This article was supplied by the Food and Drink Federation (www.foodlink.org.uk Tel: 020 7836 2460) via Advanced Food Safety Limited, international food safety consultants & trainers. (www.food-safety.co.uk Tel: 01257 255910)
Notes to the Editors:
- The foodlink campaign is organised by the Food and Drink Federation in association with the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, The Department of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Department for Education and Employment and the Local Authorities Co-ordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards.
- The campaign aims to encourage food safety and food hygiene at all stages of the food chain and to improve awareness of good food hygiene practices in the home.
- A free copy of the foodlink food safety leaflets including the new “How to Store Foods Safely” leaflet can be obtained from: The Food and Drink Federation (foodlink) P0 Box 27513 LONDON SE4 2WP
- Further information can be found on the foodlink website -http://www.foodlink.org.uk