Food Storage

In order to keep food safe, it is important that it be stored properly. The two ways food is most commonly stored in institutional settings are:

Refrigeration

Bacteria can multiply on perishable foods if they are left at room temperature for over two hours. In hot summer temperatures, bacteria grow even more rapidly – after 1 hour! Refrigerating food safely in a timely manner can help prevent illness among staff working and children living in institutions.

Refrigerators should be kept between 5º C (40º F) and 0º C (32º C). Foods that should be kept refrigerated include:

  • Raw meat, poultry, seafood
  • Eggs or egg products
  • Dairy products
  • Perishable fruits and vegetables
  • Cut and peeled fruits and vegetables
  • Leftover food from previously prepared meals
  • Mixed infant formula
  • Open cans or jars, such as canned vegetables or baby food

Dry Storage

Non-perishable foods are dry and canned foods that can be stored unrefrigerated without spoiling. However, these foods are subject to spoilage if exposed to moisture or extreme heat. Non-perishable foods should be stored in a way to protect them from pest infestation, such as insects or rodents. Additionally, foods should be stored to avoid moisture or chemical contamination.

Dry storage tips:

  • Store food in a cool, dry place no more than 27º C (80º F)
  • Transfer bagged foods into airtight plastic, glass or metal storage containers
  • Store food off the ground
  • Store food separately from chemicals (separate shelves, closets, etc.)