Here at Todd Construction Services, we work on large scale cold storage design projects but we know that the same principals and knowledge about proper food temperatures should be applied to your home refrigerator.
Here are some great facts to know when you are storing left over food that will keep them safe and bacteria free.
The temperature range from 41 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit is often referred to as the Temperature Danger Zone. Bacteria can thrive if the temperature is within this zone.
Keeping Your Food Cold
You will need to set the temperature inside of the refrigerator to below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, it is important to make sure you have enough space inside your refrigerator. The fridge will not close if it is overloaded. It will also not close if the food is packed too tightly.
If you do not have enough room in your refrigerator, then you should consider removing things liked bottled water and canned soda. The temperatures of these items are not critical. You can also use cold packs or ice to keep them cool.
Food that is freshly cooked but will not be consumed immediately should be placed in the refrigerator or freezer. Place small portions of the food inside of containers and place the containers inside of the freezer or refrigerator immediately.
Keeping The Food Hot
Hot food needs to be served and kept at or above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are trying to keep the food warm, then you will need to heat it at around 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here are some tips will help you prevent food from entering the danger zone
Plan Ahead Of Time. There is no need to over-cater because it will be much harder to keep the food cool or warm if you have a great quantity. If you will be serving food for a lot of people, then you should prepare it close to the time you will have to serve it.
Additionally, ensure there is enough room in the fridge because cold air will not be able to circulate if the food is tightly packed.
Check the storage instruction. Check the labels to see if the food needs to be placed in the refrigerator or freezer. Many items will need to be placed in the refrigerator after they have been opened.
Keep Hot Food At 140 Degrees Fahrenheit or Above. Keep food between 140 degrees Fahrenheit and 212 degrees Fahrenheit if you trying to keep your food warm.
Divide Up Food To Cool It. You should reduce the temperature of freshly cooked food immediately if it will not be consumed. Place small portions of the food in the container and then put the food inside of the freezer or refrigerator after it has stopped steaming.
Keep Food That Is On The Move Cool. If you are transporting food that is perishable, such as frozen or refrigerated shopping, food or a picnic or barbecue, or your child’s lunch, then you should use a cooler. You can add a frozen drink or block to keep things cool.
Throw It Out If In Doubt. If perishable food has been in the temperature danger for over 4 hours the safest action would be throw it out.
I hope these tips on food temperatures help keep your food safe for you and your family!