Our foods encounter many environments that can be conducive to the growth of harmful bacteria. This is why it is very important to be aware of the steps necessary to keep food safe when transporting and storing food. To make it as easy as possible, we have listed the most important practices to remember.
Store your Food Safe
- Make sure to refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 degrees).
- Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer once in a while with an appliance thermometer. Refrigerators should be at 40°F or below and the freezer should be at 0°F or below.
- Cook or freeze fresh poultry/meat within 2 days. For other beef/veal/lamb/pork, cook or freeze within 2 to 5 days.
- Meat and poultry should be wrapped securely to maintain quality and to prevent juices from dripping on other foods.
- In order to maintain the quality of freezing meat, wrap the package again with foil or plastic wrap.
- Food should not be in the temperature danger zone, which is 40°F-140°F – hot food should be held at 140°F or warmer and cold food should be kept at 40°F or cooler.
- Perishable food should not be left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. If the temperature outside is warm (above 90°F), do not leave food out for more than 1 hour.
- Use cooked leftovers within 4 days (or less if advised by your medical team).
Transport Food Safe
- Wherever you are, do not ever let the food sit directly in the sun. This is true for raw and cooked foods.
- For food that should be kept cool, you must always use a cooler or an insulated bag with ice. If this is not possible, avoid foods that will become spoiled very quickly.
- For food that should be kept hot, use thermos or an insulated dish.
- If you are not sure about how long you will be out, choose to bring foods that will not spoil easily. You can bring fruits, hard cheese, canned meats/fish, peanut butter, jelly, bread, or crackers.
- Discard any food left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90°F).