Food Safety Information

Safe food storage in your fridge

10 simple guidelines to help you store products safely in your refrigerator.

MG-PRO cabinets/counters are available in a choice of temperature ranges. Temperature parameters are set as follows:

Ten simple guidelines to help you store your food safely

Food safety is the paramount consideration for everyone involved in food service or preparation. Correct loading of your refrigerator and careful rotation of stock is your first step to ensuring your food is safe to eat.

Carefully follow these simple steps at all times:

  • Immediate refrigeration
    Put all meat and meat products, as well as dairy and other perishable items, into your refrigerator as soon as you take delivery. Do not postpone refrigeration-even in busy periods. If there is food left over from preparation or serving which can be used later, it must be returned to the fridge immediately. The ‘danger zone’ in which bacteria grows fastest is between 5°C and 63°C. Even relatively short exposure in this ‘zone’, which includes room temperature, can be extremely dangerous. It is vital that your refrigerator operates at the appropriate temperature, which for food refrigeration is between +1° and +4°C. Freezers should be kept at -18°C or below. Make sure you have a reliable fridge thermometer.

  • Check temperature of incoming goods
    It is not enough to focus on the temperature at which you store food on your premises. Always check the temperature of refrigerated and frozen foods as it arrives. If the temperature is above safe food storage levels do not accept the delivery- the food could already be contaminated.

  • Hygiene
    Bacteria that cause food poisoning can survive on the surfaces of your fridge. Clean your fridge regularly, internally and externally, Wipe up spills immediately and avoid using solvent cleaning agents or abrasives that may pass on taste to food or ice cubes, or damage your fridge’s interior finish.

  • Keep raw meats away from other foods!
    An absolutely critical point! Ideally raw and uncooked meats should be kept in separate refrigerators, but if this is impossible you must keep uncooked foods in a lower part of your fridge than cooked foods to avoid the dripping of juices which can cause dangerous contamination. Keep all foods covered, especially meats.

  • Store other products in the appropriate areas
    If your refrigerator has to be multi-purpose, keep non-dripping dairy products like cheese at the top of the cabinet, with cooked meats and meat products like pies and paté below. Uncooked meats and sausages must be stored at the bottom of the fridge. If necessary, put red meats and sausages above uncooked poultry- but never the other way around.

  • Take care over salads
    In domestic situations salad is often stored at the bottom of the fridge: but this is not good food safety practice. You can store salads below cooked meats- but they should always be above raw meats. Always keep salad covered, in a deep, lidded container or wrapped in cling film. Wash thoroughly before use.

  • Rotate your stock diligently
    Use labels or a dry-wipe board to record when foods are first placed in the refrigerator, and make a note of use-by dates on packaging. Place newer stock at the back of your refrigerator, to ensure items do not remain unused past the appropriate date. Check each time you remove stock that it is within date. For unmarked foods such as fresh meat, refer to the table opposite for maximum storage times- and adhere to them strictly. Ensure there is a space between all items to allow airflow: vital for correct temperature to be maintained. Avoid standing food on the base of the fridge and do not overload your fridge or it will not operate efficiently and safely.

  • When freezing- freeze immediately
    Pre-packed meat should always be used by the recommended date or frozen immediately. Follow the storage times indicated in this leaflet, unless freezing meat immediately.

  • Thaw thoroughly and safely
    Frozen meat must be thawed thoroughly before cooking or it will fail to cook properly. It is extremely dangerous however to leave meat to thaw at room temperature. Ideally use a specially designed Thaw Cabinet. Alternatively, you can thaw in a microwave or overnight in a refrigerator. Be especially careful of liquid produced by thawing meat. Ensure that it does not drip onto other foods, and throw the liquid away. Once frozen meat is thawed, never re-freeze unless it has been cooked first.

  • Once package is opened, move to covered containers
    Once opened, always treat canned and packaged foods as fresh. Never store opened cans, Tetra Packs or other non-reseal-able packages in the refrigerator: instead transfer the contents to a covered container first. Wrapped and shrink-wrapped foods, including sliced meats and cheeses, should also be re-covered, using cling film, foil or food-safe plastic containers as appropriate.

Recommended maximum storage times for meat:

Un-cooked In a fridge Cooked In a fridge
Joints of pork beef & lamb 3 days Joints 2 days
Steaks 2 days Chicken 2 days
Chops 2 days Chicken, stuffed 2 days
Chicken (whole / portions) 2 days Casseroles 2 days
Bacon 7 days Ham 2 days
Cubed meat 1 days Meat pieces 1 days
Minced meat 1 days Sliced meat 2 days
Liver, heart or kidney 1 days Pate 2 days
Sausages 3 days