Food safety isn’t just about preventing illness, it’s also about saving money. Storing food safely will extend the shelf life of the foods you love, prevent illness, and reduce your grocery bill by hundreds of dollars a year!
Refrigeration slows bacterial growth. Setting your refrigerator at 40°F or below will protect most foods.1 Store your food as soon as you get home. Leaving leftovers or refrigerated groceries out for more than two hours can cause bacteria to grow and make your food to spoil faster.
Freezing does not kill most bacteria, but it does stop bacteria from growing.2 Most frozen foods are good indefinitely in a freezer that is 0°F, though the quality of the food will degrade over time. When you’re ready to eat, thaw your food on a tray in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.
Canned Foods: Generally, commercially packaged canned goods are safe indefinitely3. Store them in a dark, cool cabinet. Don’t let them get too hot or cold or you could weaken the seal.
Dried Goods: Dried herbs and tea should be kept in a cool, dark cabinet in their original or an airtight container to prevent moisture from contaminating. Some dried goods, like flour and coffee can be stored in the freezer to extend shelf life.
Only buy what you need.
Move perishable items to the front and eat those first.
Keep ethylene producing fruits (apples and oranges) away from ripe produce. (Walk In Refrigerator Tips).
Use or Food Storage Guide or FoodKeeper to store food safely.
When in doubt, find a responsible disposal method like composting.