HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES
Because of consumer demand, preservatives have been removed from many pre-prepared foods. This together with the changes in shopping habits to a once-a-week shop, mean that safe handling and storage of food is even more important than ever. The following tips should help you to ensure that the food in your home is in as perfect condition as possible. â¢ Keep the time between buying chilled food and placing it in your fridge as short as possible. Tests showed that the temperature of 1 litre of orange juice rose to 22Â°C in an hour between the supermarket and home. It then took 11 hours to get down to 7Â°C in the refrigerator. Keep the freezer door closed as much as possible. Do not push food together too much, try to allow air to circulate around each item. Cool cooked food as quickly as possible but do NOT place in the refrigerator until cool. (Leave food in a place as cool as possible in order that it can then be placed in the refrigerator as soon as possible). Do not store food uncovered. The best way to defrost food is to put it in the refrigerator to thaw slowly. Ensure that food placed in the freezer is dated and labelled and used in date order to ensure that food is consumed at its best. It is important that food is used before its âbest beforeâ date. Always wash your hands with soapy water and dry them with a clean towel before handling food. Keep work surfaces clean and avoid cross contamination by not using the same work surface or knife, without washing them thoroughly in between. The foods to be frozen must be fresh and of the best quality. The size of each pack should be small enough to ensure that it is used in one go . Small packs freeze more quickly and uniformly and give better results. â¢ â¢ â¢ Frozen food, once thawed, must not be refrozen. Lean food keeps better and longer than fatty food, salt reduces the storage time. Wrap the food in polythene or aluminium freezing bags or foil so that they adhere to the food and provide an airtight seal . Packaging which is swollen or has traces of refrozen water droplets on the pack could indicate that the product has not been kept at a suitable temperature and that it may have lost its original quality. Partially thawed food must not be refrozen, it must be consumed within 24 hours. Never exceed the storage times indicated by the manufacturer. Never place hot food, bottles or cans of fizzy drink in the freezer as they may explode. Containers with a lid must not be filled to the brim. Do not open the door or place extra fresh food in the freezer next to food which is already frozen as this could cause the temperature of the frozen food to rise and its quality and storage life to reduce . The symbols on the drawers show different types of frozen goods. The numbers indicate storage times in months for the appropriate types of frozen goods. Whether the upper or lower value of the indicated storage time is valid depends on the quality of the foods and pre-treating before freezing.