Experts recommend that foods requiring refrigeration be left at room temperature for no more than two hours. Foods are usually safe when they are either over or under a certain temperature. So that means you want your food to get cold quickly when you put it in the fridge. Here are a few refrigerator food safety tips.
- Use smaller containers – If your food storage containers are massive, it will take longer for the food to cool off and reach the right temperature. That means it may sit too long in the danger zone between 140 degrees and 40 degrees when bacteria grow the fastest.
- Divide food into smaller portions – For example, if you cook a whole turkey and a lot is still left at the end of the meal, cut it into pieces before putting it in the fridge. This will help it to cool faster, and you have better portion sizes when you want to reheat it later.
- Don’t crowd the fridge – If food is pressed together on all sides, the cold air can’t get to all parts of the food to cool it faster.
- Give it an ice bath – Drop your leftovers in ice water to drop the temp even faster before putting them in the fridge.
- Keep your refrigerator in good shape – You need your fridge to maintain the proper temperature for food safety.