Some food is more prone to harboring pathogens like bacteria or toxins that can make you sick. This is where refrigeration comes in. Refrigeration has long been a valid means to help in the storage and preservation of food, thus lengthening its shelf-life. Refrigeration is used in all stages of the chain, from food processing, to distribution, retail, and final consumption in people’s homes.
The global food industry employs both chilling and freezing processes. Food is cooled from ambient to temperatures above 0 °C in the chilling process while freezing entails temperatures between −18 °C and −35 °C. These are done to slow the physical, microbiological, and chemical activities that cause food deterioration.
While most of us are used to eating leftovers, that is often done with food that we assume is still safe to consume and within its shelf-life. Basic knowledge of the types of food, proper storage, and how they are prepared allows us to safely consume leftovers. Still, a common practice if to toss leftovers within three days.