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Proper Food Storage: 7 Tips You Need To Remember

Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen · Dietetics and Nutrition

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Nov 24, 2022

    Proper Food Storage: 7 Tips You Need To Remember

    Food storage is extremely important when it comes to making sure food stays fresh. Aside from this, practicing proper food storage also helps lower the risk of foodborne illness.

    While storing food properly might seem simple, there are a number of things that you’ll need to remember to avoid getting sick.

    7 Proper food storage tips

    Here are some important things to remember whenever you’re storing food:

    1. Avoid cross contamination

    Cross contamination is when bacteria that’s found in one food contaminates the other. One example of this is when liquid from meat drips onto vegetables. This can be a risk since vegetables aren’t usually cooked as well as meat; some vegetables are even eaten raw. When this happens, a person might develop food poisoning as a result.

    So make sure to store raw foods separately, and keep them away from other types of foods.

    2. Always keep your food wrapped or in sealed containers

    Another important thing to remember about proper food storage is to keep your food in sealed containers. Meat or fish can be wrapped individually or placed in their own sealed plastic containers. The same goes for other types of foods such as soups, or leftovers.

    One exception to this is when it comes to vegetables. Veggies in the crisper should be taken out of their bags before storage as this helps them “breathe” and prevents spoilage1.

    3. Avoid refreezing defrosted food

    Freezing thawed food is a common mistake that a lot of people do when cooking. This should be avoided since thawing might introduce bacteria into the food, and can cause the food to have higher levels of bacteria.

    As much as possible, try to cook foods after defrosting them, or portion your foods before freezing so you only use as much as you need.

    4. Make sure your refrigerator and freezer have the right temperature

    Speaking of freezing, it is important to maintain the right temperature inside your freezer and refrigerator. This is one of the most important things to remember when it comes to proper food storage.

    Ideally, the refrigerator should be at 5 degrees celsius or lower, and the freezer should be below -15 degrees celsius2.

    5. Dry goods should be kept dry at all times

    Dry goods such as rice, oatmeal, pasta, and other foods should be kept in dry, sealed containers. This helps prevent the growth of mold and bacteria, and also helps the food last longer3.

    This also helps prevent contamination and prevents critters such as cockroaches from eating your food.

    6. Food that looks suspicious should be thrown out

    You’ve probably had moments where you’re unsure if you need to throw food out or not. The rule of thumb is that if you are unsure of whether or not food is still edible, you need to err on the side of caution and throw it out4.

    This way, you can lower the chances that you might accidentally eat spoiled food.

    7. Keep your cupboards and your fridge clean at all times

    Lastly, it is important to keep your cupboards and your fridge clean at all times5. This is an important tip when it comes to proper food storage.

    Having a dirty cupboard can cause food contamination, and can also attract pests such as cockroaches. A fridge that is not cleaned regularly can be home to mold, bacteria, and also affects how well the cold air circulates inside the appliance.

    Ideally, you should be cleaning your refrigerator every 3 to 4 months, which also involves defrosting. As for your cupboards, you can clean them at least once a year.

    Key Takeaways

    Proper food storage can help keep foods fresh and edible for as long as possible. It also helps prevent food poisoning which can be a serious problem for children and the elderly.

    Learn more about Healthy Eating here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Expertly reviewed by

    Chris Icamen

    Dietetics and Nutrition

    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Nov 24, 2022

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