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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Food Safety

Refrigerator Good Practice

Refrigerator Good Practice

Your refrigerator is an important piece of equipment. A fridge is regarded as an essential requirement in homes today. Most of the food we buy is either chilled or frozen so it makes sense to use the fridge wisely, since misuse will affect not only the quality of the food but, more importantly, its safety.

Follow these rules for good quality, safe food.

Your fridge should operate at about 3 - 5ºC.

Buy a fridge thermometer and check it daily. Adjust the fridge setting accordingly.

Check the date codes on the food. Use older stock first and dispose of out-of-date items.

Your fridge is not designed to cool hot food. Make sure the dish is cool enough to handle before it is covered and put in the fridge, which should be within 1½ hours of cooking.

Don't put open cans of food in the fridge. The can lining can taint the food. Use a non-metallic container - and put the lid on!

Overfilling the fridge will mean that cold air can't circulate properly.

Never store raw or defrosting food above cooked food. Blood and thawing liquid can contaminate safe food with food poisoning bacteria.

Clean the fridge regularly, paying particular attention to the door handle and door seal. A food grade cleaning agent / sanitiser should be used (i.e those that do not have a strong odour / smell).

In order for your refrigerator to operate properly, it should be positioned in a well ventilated area away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

This is not a statement of the law and is for guidance only, subject to periodic review. Should you require more advice for your own business and any other matters relating to food safety and hygiene you should contact your area environmental health officer.