Our food is usually safe and of high quality. However, foodborne infections can still occur. Cause can be an improper food purchase or insufficient hygiene in food storage. In the following, we give you tips on how food should be transported and stored optimally and safely.
Tips for safe food shopping
Do not break the cold chain
Food that needs to be frozen or refrigerated (such as ice cream, fresh fish, ground meat) should be transported home quickly, especially in summer temperatures, and frozen immediately or. cool. In general, try to minimize the amount of time between taking food out of the supermarket fridge and getting it to your home fridge. Observe the cooling and storage instructions marked on the packaging. Use insulated bags, cool boxes or cold packs for transport – if possible already at the point of purchase. Because of increasing heat periods due to climate change, this is becoming more and more important.
Buy small quantities
Buy only such quantities in stock, which you can also store as prescribed (for example, in the refrigerator, freezer) and which you can consume before the expiration of the best-before date or consumption date.
Correct storage of food
Maintain the prescribed storage temperature
The best-before date (MHD) for food that needs to be refrigerated often refers to a range between four and eight degrees Celsius, depending on the product group. For raw, packaged meat, a maximum storage temperature of four degrees Celsius is often referred to. Pay attention to the storage and use conditions indicated on the packaging. Find out about the different cold zones in the instruction manual of your refrigerator model in order to store different foods at the right temperature.
Attention: Some products, e.g.B. Pre-packaged minced meat, must only be stored at a maximum of two degrees Celsius. If you can’t maintain these refrigeration temperatures, it’s best to use up such foods on the same day of purchase and/or. Process.
Extensive tips on the shelf life and storage of different foods can be found here.
Do not pack the refrigerator too full
Set the temperature of your refrigerator to a maximum of seven degrees Celsius, lower for sensitive foods. Depending on the model, there are different temperature zones in the refrigerator. When in doubt, measure with a thermometer. Defrost your refrigerator regularly and clean it several times a year.
Note: If the refrigerator is too full, the temperature rises. When buying in bulk, it’s also more energy efficient to open the fridge once and put everything away, rather than opening and closing the door several times. If the seal is not properly closed, heat can also flow in from the outside and deregulate the temperature. High temperatures in living spaces during hot spells in summer favor this.
Regular control of the supplies
Check and clean refrigerators and storage cabinets regularly to minimize possible germ contamination. Canned food with a curved bottom/lid should be disposed of with household waste. Also, keep track of everything so that no food is forgotten. It is best to place the food that will expire first at the very front of the refrigerator. If food is stored for a longer period of time, check it for pest infestation. If an infestation is evident, you must dispose of these foods.
Store opened food in a cool place and consume it quickly
After opening: decant canned food and put the jam in the refrigerator. UHT milk and fruit juices have a limited shelf life when opened. If necessary, make a note of the date of opening on the packaging. To prevent germs from spreading, store opened food and leftovers in closed containers or completely covered in the refrigerator.
Tip: Close opened fruit juices immediately after pouring again. At room temperature, the contents will keep for seven days at most. If stored quickly in the refrigerator, on the other hand, the bottle or package can still be consumed for up to fourteen days.
Hygienic handling delays spoilage of opened goods
Remove foods such as pickles or jam from the jar using clean kitchen utensils such as a fork or spoon. And only use the quantity that you need. Put the rest back into the refrigerator immediately. This is especially true in summer temperatures: consume quickly and do not leave in the sun for a long time!
Food hygiene is especially important after floods
After high water and flooding, hygienic problems may arise due to contact with contaminated water. Therefore, personal hand hygiene and careful handling of affected foods are important. For specific tips and recommendations on how to do this, see our article on the topic.
Community refrigerator – place of horror?
Lonely food that no one feels responsible for, food that has gone bad or puddles on shelves from spills: A communal refrigerator can lead to constant strife. Some tips can help: