Tips for safely storing food at home

Safely storing food at home involves a few simple guidelines. Keep these tips in mind when storing your food:

  • Refrigerator temperature should be 40 degrees F or below. Don’t rely on your refrigerator’s temperature settings to monitor temperature; use a stand-alone thermometer.
  • To prevent mold growth on foods, clean the refrigerator every few months, and keep humidity in your house under 40 percent.
  • Place eggs in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not on the door.
  • Freezer temperature should be 0 degrees F or below.
  • Buying in bulk? Eggs, milk and cheese can be frozen.
    • To freeze whole eggs, beat whites and yolks together, then freeze in an airtight container. See The Incredible Edible Egg for more ideas.
    • Freeze milk or cheese in their original, unopened containers if possible. See Still Tasty for more ideas.
  • Store shelf-stable products in a cool, clean, dry place. Avoid places with temperature extremes or moisture.
  • Acidic canned foods (fruit or tomatoes) can be stored for 12 – 18 months.
  • Other canned meats and vegetables can be stored for up to 2 – 5 years.

Remember, if there is any question at all about the safety of a food, better safe than sorry. If in doubt, throw it out!