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A Father's Love: Storing Food Safely

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Grilling on a warm summer day, cheering from the sidelines, sitting in the audience at a recital; father figures play an important role in society and the lives of children around the world.

History of Father’s Day:

Sonora Dodd was listening to a sermon on the importance of mothers. She decided her widowed father needed a special day too. So, she worked with churches in Spokane, Washington to organize a celebration in June 1910. That movement spread across the country.

In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge made Father’s Day a national event to “establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.” In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson declared that the third Sunday in June would be Father’s Day and President Richard Nixon made the proclamation permanent in 1972.[1]

A Fathers Love:

The role of fathers has shifted in the past few decades. More dads are taking on shared roles in the kitchen, including preventing food waste!

It’s important to store fresh and prepared food safely, but it can be confusing to understand how to best store food in your refrigerator. The University of Minnesota Extension has suggestions:

1.) Store raw meat, poultry, and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator in pans so juices don't drip onto other foods.

2.) Check refrigerator temperature often, daily or at least once a week.

3.) Refrigerate prepared food and leftovers within 2 hours of cooking.

4.) Divide leftovers into small, shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator. Cover when food is cooled.

5.) Don't overload the refrigerator. Cool air must circulate to keep food safe.”[2]

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also suggests that dairy items are kept in the coldest part of the fridge, in the back, away from the door. And use crisper drawers for vegetables. Their infographic highlights how to store some common items dads and father figures might encounter this Father’s Day:

Food storage graphic

Personal Reflections:

As Americans celebrate Father’s Day, remember that one story might stick out, but memories are made over time. Thank you to the dads and father figures who make beautiful memories with their children, every day! Share your favorite stories here:

“As a child, I used to help pick apples in my grandfather’s apple orchard. My grandfather would always tell me the apples with the “worm” holes were the best ones, because the bugs knew how to find the best apples.” ~ Cher Mohring, Community Outreach Coordinator, Hamilton County R3Source

“My dad was never a cook, but my mom traveled a few times per year for work. That left dad in charge of the cooking. He had 3 meals that he would make – mac n’ cheese with ground beef, spaghetti, and our favorite: “cowboy surprise” (baked beans, onions, tomato sauce, and ground beef). Dad knew that he had to make the meal sound exciting, so he named it “cowboy surprise” because I loved horses and my little brother was obsessed with cowboys.” ~ Elise Erhart, Outreach Specialist, Hamilton County R3Source.

“Weekend breakfasts were always something to look forward to. My parents took turns cooking and my dad’s specialty was buttermilk pancakes. As a kid, I was excited whenever he let me “help” by flipping them on the gridle. The results weren’t always pretty, but we had fun!” ~ Alex Gonzales, Health Educator

Ollie cooking with his grandchildren

"My boys treasure their pasta making classes with Grandpa John. Very messy!" ~ Ollie Kroner, Sustainability Manager, City of Cincinnati.

[1] (US Census Bureau, 2021) [2] (Suzanne Driessen, 2021)

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