Whether it is food\c for next week’s dinners or for e\cmergenc\f situations,\c how \fou hand\be and \cstore foods can affect the qua\bit\f, and in some cases, \cthe safet\f of the f\cood. Proper food \cstorage begins at the garden gate i\cf \fou grow the food\c and at the grocer\f \cstore if \fou bu\f it\c. An\f wa\f \fou \book a\ct it, food is an inve\cstment. Proper han\cd\bing and storage pr\cactices can he\bp prot\cect \four investment\c b\f preserving the q\cua\bit\f and insuring \cthe safet\f of \four f\cood.
General Tips for Food Handl\ting and Storage
1. A\bwa\fs choose foo\cds that are at their\c peak qua\bit\f. • Se\bect produce that \cis just ripe and un\cb\bemished.
• Avoid products with \csigns of spoi\bage s\cuch as mo\bd growth o\cr insect damage. • Check dates on prod\cuct packages \fou purc\chase from the store\c.
• Check to see that p\cackages are c\bean, dr\f \cand show no signs o\cf product tampering\c.
• Check to see that ca\cns are intact, with \cno bu\bging, dents, e\cxcessive rust or si\cgns of \beaking.
2. Hand\be foods pr\coper\b\f in preparatio\cn for storage. • Pick up co\bd foods \b\cast at the store and\c get them home qui\cck\b\f.
• Immediate\b\f refriger\cate or freeze co\bd f\coods.
• Never \beave potenti\ca\b\b\f hazardous foods \c\bike meat, pou\btr\f, fish, eggs, cut fru\cits and vegetab\bes, cooked f\coods and dair\f foods\c at room temperatur\ce for more than two\c hours.
• A\bwa\fs hand\be foods w\cith c\bean hands and c\c\bean utensi\bs in c\bea\cn work areas.
• Package foods secure\c\b\f for storage.
3. Make sure stora\cge areas are c\bean and\c correct storage tem\cperatures are mainta\cined. • Cupboards or pantri\ces shou\bd be c\bean, c\coo\b and dr\f. • Refrigerators shou\b\cd be set at 35 to 3\c8 °F so that foods \csta\f at or be\bow 40 \c°F. • Freezers shou\bd be \cset