Some foods need to be kept chilled to keep them safe, for example food with a ‘use by’ date, food that you have cooked and won’t serve immediately, or other ready-to-eat food such as prepared salads. If these foods are not properly chilled, bacteria can grow and make people ill.
What you need to do
- aim to keep the coldest part of your fridge between 0 deg C and 5 deg C (32 deg F and 41 deg F)
- keep a fridge thermometer in the coldest part and check the temperature regularly
- keep the most perishable foods, like cooked meats, in the coldest part of the fridge
- return perishable foods to the fridge or freezer as soon as possible after use
- remember to keep raw food below ready-to-eat food in the fridge, or use separate fridges for raw and ready-to-eat food, if possible
- wrap or cover all raw or uncooked foods so that they can't touch or drip on other foods and contaminate them
- to keep the fridge cold, don't overload it or leave the door open longer than necessary
- don't put hot food in the fridge: let it cool first
- don't keep food beyond its "use by" date
- empty any part-used can into a bowl and cover it, otherwise the tin may contaminate the food
- follow storage instructions given on food packages
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