Food poisoning is usually caused by bacteria from foods that were not properly stored, handled, prepared, or cooked. Foods that are contaminated with bacteria may look, smell, and taste normal. But if food is not properly stored, the bacteria in it can multiply, and it can be dangerous.
Bacteria that cause food poisoning can grow and multiply fast, especially in temperature that is between 5C and 60C, which are considered as a danger zone. It is important to keep foods that are considered high-risk out of this temperature range.
Make sure that you take special care with high-risk foods. Bacteria can grow and they can multiply on some foods more easily than others. High-risk foods include cooked and raw meat, including poultry like chicken and turkey, foods that are containing them like curries, casseroles and lasagne; dairy products like dairy-based desserts such as custard, tarts and cheesecake; seafoods like patties, fish balls, seafood salad and stews containing fish stock; eggs and egg products like mousse; smallgoods like salamis and ham; prepared salads like pasta salads, coleslaws and rice salads; cooked pasta and rice; ready-to-eat foods like rolls, pizzas and sandwiches; prepared fruit salads.
Food that comes in packages, jars and can be contaminated once they are opened, which is why they should be handled and stored correctly. Your fridge temperature should be 5C or below, while the freezer should be -15C or below. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature of your refrigerator.
When you buy chilled and frozen foods, take them home to the store as fast as possible. On hot days or for trips that are longer than 30 minutes, you can try to take an insulated cooler bag or an ice pack to keep the frozen foods cold. Keep cold and hot foods separate while you take them home. Once you are at home, put the chilled and frozen food into the freezer or fridge immediately. Make sure that the food stored in the freezer is frozen hard.
When you have cooked food, and you want to cool it, you can put the hot food into shallow dishes or smaller portions to help cool the food as fast as possible. Do not put very hot food into the refrigerator. Wait until steam has stopped rising from the food before you put them in the fridge.
Bacteria can grow in frozen food while it is defrosting, so avoid frozen food in the temperature danger zone. Keep the defrosted food in the fridge until it is ready to be cooked. If you are going to use a microwave oven to defrost your food, you need to cook it immediately after defrosting.
One of the rules is that you should avoid refreezing thawed food. Food that is frozen twice is likely to have higher levels of bacteria. This risk depends on the condition of the food when it is frozen, and how the food is handled between freezing and thawing, but raw food should never be refrozen once it is thawed.
Also, raw food and cooked food should be stored separately in the fridge. Bacteria from raw food can contaminate cold, cooked food easily, and the bacteria can multiply to dangerous levels if the food is not cooked properly. Always store raw food in covered or sealed containers at the bottom of the fridge. Keep raw foods below cooked foods to avoid liquid-like meat juices from dripping down and contaminating the cooked food.
Throw out high-risk food left in the temperature danger zone for more than four hours and do not put it in the fridge. Do not keep it for later. Check the expiration dates on food products and discard expired food. If you are uncertain of the use-by date, you can throw it out.
To make sure that your fridge is working properly, you can contact a local service provider to check it like the commercial refrigeration repair in Tucson. One of the ways to prevent your food from going bad is to make sure that the fridge is working properly.