Guide to keep food safe and tasty to eat by storing it right

Food Storage
All you need to know to keep the stuff in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry in peak condition.

Foods are divided into three groups for the purpose of storage: perishable foods, dry foods, and frozen foods.
  • Perishable foods include meat, poultry, game, fish, dairy produce and fats, vegetables and fruits.
  • Dry foods include cereals, pulses, sugar, flour, etc., bread and cakes, jams, pickles and other bottled foods and canned foods (cleaning materials can also be included in this section).
  • Frozen foods must be placed immediately into a deep freeze at a temperature of -20°C
Refrigerator Food Storage
Refrigerator Food Storage

Storage of perishable foods

Meat and poultry

• Meat joints should be hung on hooks over a drip tray to collect any blood.
• The temperature of the refrigerator should be between -1°C
• The humidity level should be approximately 90 percent.
• Meat and poultry should ideally be stored in separate places.
• Cuts of meat may be brushed with oil or wrapped in oiled greaseproof paper, wrapped in Clingfilm or vacuum packed.
• Drip trays and other trays used for meat or poultry should be cleaned daily.
• Frozen meat and poultry must be stored at between -18°C and -20°C


• Store in ice in a fish refrigerator or fish drainer at between -1°C (30°F) and 1°C (34°F).
• Keep different types of fish separated.
• Smoked fish should be kept separate from fresh fish.
• Frozen fish should be stored at -18°C


• Ideally have a cool, dry vegetable store with racks.
• As a safety precaution do not stack sacks too high.
• Leave potatoes in sacks.
• Place root vegetables on racks
• Store green vegetables on racks.
• Store lettuce leaves as delivered in a cool environment.
• Remove any vegetables that show signs of decay.
• Leave onions and shallots in nets or racked.
• Place cauliflower and broccoli on racks.
• Leave courgettes, peppers, avocado pears and cucumbers in delivery containers.
• Leave mushrooms in containers.


• Soft fruits should be left in punnets and placed in refrigeration.
• Hard fruits and stone fruits are stored in the cold store.
• Do not refrigerate bananas as they will turn black. If possible hang by the stems to slow down ripening.


• Store refrigerated at 1-4°C.
• Keep away from other foods; their shells are porous and they can absorb strong smells.
• Keep in their delivery boxes; handle as little as possible.
• Use in a rotation.

Milk and cream

• Store in the refrigerator below 5°C.
• Partially used containers should be covered.
• Used in a rotation.

Cheese and butter

• Refrigerate at a temperature below 5°C.
• Cut cheeses should be wrapped.
• Use in a rotation.

Bread, etc.

• Use in rotation: first in first out
• Store in a well-ventilated cool store.
• Avoid overstocking.
• Take care that biscuits are stacked carefully to avoid breaking.
• Frozen gateaux should be kept frozen
• Cakes containing cream must be refrigerated.


• All sandwiches must be sold within four to 24 hours of preparation.
• They must be stored at a maximum temperature of 8°C (46°F).
• Sandwiches to be sold within four hours are not covered by this legislation.

Storage of dry goods

  • Storage must be cool, well lit and well ventilated.
  • Storage should be off the floor or in bins.
  • Issue goods in rotation: last in last out.
  • Stack items so that stock rotation is simple to operate.
  • Arrange items in such a way that they can easily be checked.

Storage of ice cream and frozen goods

  • Store immediately on receipt.
  • Storage temperature must be -20°C.
  • Use in a rotation.
  • Keep chest lid closed as much as possible.
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