The bacteria that causes food poisoning multiplies rapidly in the “Danger Zone” between 40°F and 140°F. Cold temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria, so always aim to keep your food cold!
Here are some tips to remember when getting your groceries from the store to your refrigerator at home:
- Shop our non-perishable aisles first, and then head to our refrigerated and frozen aisles.
- Load perishables into an air-conditioned car, not your trunk.
- Unload perishable items first and refrigerate or freeze them as soon as you get home.
- Discard perishables left at room temperature for longer than two hours. This rule changes to one hour when the temperature is above 90°F, and remember, this includes travel time.
- Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer using an appliance thermometer. Your refrigerator should be keeping a constant temperature of 40°F or below and the freezer should stay at 0°F.
- The safest way to thaw food is in the refrigerator. Place thawing item in a container so thawing liquids don’t drip on other foods.
Make sure to check out the USDA’s Cold Storage Chart to see how long specific foods should be kept refrigerated or frozen.