Safety in the Kitchen: Perishable Food and Dating Your Food in the Refrigerator

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     The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the house. You cook meals regularly while washing dishes and listening to family members discuss their daily and weekly plans. However, sometimes we overlook the importance of using our appliances safely.

      The refrigerator is a crucial appliance to store our milk, eggs, and water so we must be prepared to utilize safe measures to minimize food borne illnesses and wasted food. Here are a few tips to keep your food safe in the refrigerator:

Perishable Food:

1) Refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours after coming from the grocery store/supermarket. (Use 1 hour as a guideline when the temperature is above 90 degrees F. Meanwhile, place hot foods inside the refrigerator soon after cooking. (You can always use smaller plates to separate a large pan/pot of food such as a stew)

2) Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood in separate containers/sealed plastic bags to minimize dripped juices from making contact with any fruits/vegetables. If fruits/vegetables are cross-contaminated and will not be cooked immediately, do not eat and throw out.

3) Milk and orange juice should be keep in the back of the refrigerator to maximize freshness. Also, eggs should be stored in the original carton and placed in the main compartment of the refrigerator but not in the door.

Dating Food:

1) Write and highlight the date when your food was stored. It is easy to forget with busy schedules.

2) Make sure the date is easy to see. If the package has a date on the bottom of a container, you can rewrite it.

3) Allow enough space between all food items. First, it maintains circulation. Second, it can show dates quicker.

     By dating your food and storing your perishable foods quickly, you can minimize the risk of food borne illnesses which can create damaging problems to your household.

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