How to Store Food Safely
Whether you're storing baked goods, fresh produce or meat, ideal environments and shelf lives vary. Download our Food Storage Guide for specific instructions on storing baked items, food purchased frozen, foods purchased refrigerated, and even fresh fruits and vegetables.
The 2 hour rule
- Use the 2 Hour Rule both at home and while shopping. The 2 Hour Rule states that all perishable foods must be refrigerated or frozen within 2 hours of purchase or preparation. If the weather is hot, more than 27°C (80°F), reduce that time to 1 hour and use a cooler for perishable foods while shopping. Any perishable foods that have been left at room temperature for longer than these times should be discarded.
- Refrigerate cooked foods as soon as possible after a meal. Once the foods have cooled, cover with lids or plastic food wrap. Use them quickly, or freeze them, as they have a short shelf life. Most leftovers should be used within 2 – 4 days; combination foods and foods that contain dairy, seafood or fish should be used within 1 – 2 days. If you have any doubts about the safety of a leftover food, throw it out.