Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Safety of refrigerated food

Providing proper refrigeration of perishable foods begins when foods are purchased, Perishable foods should be refrigerated at 4 ° C or below as soon as possible.

Packaging of the foods is important, especially in impervious films, to minimize freezer burn, oxidative deterioration and dehydration. Refrigerated foods should be covered, except for ripe fruits and vegetables.

It also prevent the food from drying out or transferring odors from one food to another. Store produce and strong-flavored foods in tightly covered containers or plastic bags.

All cooked foods, meats, fish, cold cuts, bacon, frankfurters, should be packaged before refrigerating. Nuts should be packaged and refrigerated to slow down the oxidation of their fat, which leads to rancidity.

Greens (e.g. spinach) should be refrigerated unwashed. It should be remembered that fresh foods should be used as soon as possible. Fresh foods, with some exception, deteriorate rapidly.

Refrigeration retards many of the microbial, physical, chemical and biochemical reactions that lead to food spoilage and deterioration, thus providing effective short-term food preservation.

Some foods are best held at room temperature and these include baked goods (to hold for more than two days, they should be frozen), unripe fruit and bananas.

Meals that are consumed following their preparations are not likely to be responsible for food poisoning. On the other hand, meals that are consumed hours after preparation, such as is customary at picnics and outings, should be supervised by knowledgeable people.

After the meal the food should be refrigerated as quickly an possible, separating large amount of foods into small, shallow containers to allow the food to cool as rapidly as possible.

Keeping food refrigerated or frozen does not kill bacteria, and temperature abuse can easily occur, especially in refrigerated food.

Some products such as puddings, custards, and eclairs should be held under refrigeration at all times. Home freezers are not of sufficient capacity to flash-freeze stuffed poultry, chicken and especially turkey and therefore, poultry should not be stuffed prior to freezing. Instead it should be stuffed prior to cooking. 

Leftovers should be used as soon as possible: this is especially true salads, chickens and other perishables. Leftovers should be reheated to 74 °C, if necessary and consumed 2 days of refrigerated storage.
Safety of refrigerated food

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