There are four basic steps that need to be taken if you want to protect your food against food borne illness. Freshtemp helps with proper holding temperatures but the safety of the food is ultimately determined by employees. The best defense is an educated workforce. Here are some basic guidelines that everyone handling the food should be aware of:
1. Clean – Wash hands and surfaces often.
2. Seperate – Don’t cross-contaminate.
3. Cook – Cook to proper temperatures.
4. Chill – Refrigerate promptly.
Most of this is taken from the Food Safety and Inspection Services.
Always refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours (1 hour when the temperature is above 90 °F).
Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer with an appliance thermometer. The refrigerator should be at 40 °F or below and the freezer at 0 °F or below.
Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats, and variety meats within 2 days; other beef, veal, lamb, or pork, within 3 to 5 days.
In general, high-acid canned food such as tomatoes, grapefruit, and pineapple can be stored on the shelf for 12 to 18 months. Low-acid canned food such as meat, poultry, fish, and most vegetables will keep 2 to 5 years — if the can remains in good condition and has been stored in a cool, clean, and dry place. Discard cans that are dented, leaking, bulging, or rusted.
The Minnesota Department of Health has a great Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Chart: