Refrigerate Promptly and Properly

Reviewed by Eleese Cunningham, RDN
refrigerator thermometer in fridge

Refrigerate Promptly Below 40°F

Refrigerate foods quickly and at a proper temperature to slow the growth of bacteria and prevent food poisoning.

Leftover foods from a meal should not stay out of refrigeration longer than two hours. In hot weather (90°F or above), this time is reduced to one hour.

Also, make sure your refrigerator is set below 40°F. This will keep perishable foods out of what's called the temperature "danger zone," where bacteria multiply quickest between 40°F and 140°F. Keep a refrigerator thermometer inside your refrigerator at all times!

Freezing is also a smart storage option to extend the shelf life of many perishable foods. Use an appliance thermometer to ensure your freezer is at 0° Fahrenheit or below.

Important tip: WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!

Download: Keep It Cool: Refrigerator/Freezer Food Storage

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