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  Food Safety - Refrigerator StorageMonday, December 11th, 2023  
by Ada Shinabarger & Lydia C. Medeiros

Foods costs money, so it is just good sense to keep in mind the quality in the food you buy. Knowing how to store food properly and how long it will keep brings many benefits.

Four ways to win with proper food storage
  • The food will be safe to eat.
  • Desirable flavor and texture will be retained.
  • High level of nutrients will be maintained.
  • Money won't be wasted on spoiled food.
Safety First - Bacteria cause 67 percent of the food poisoning in the U.S. The three types of bacteria responsible for most cases are Staphylococcus, Clostridium perfringens and Salmonella. Normally these bacteria cause no trouble but if the environment is right, they can multiply and cause a dangerous situation. Bacteria multiply when:
  • Temperature is between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F.
  • Food is in this temperature range for three to four hours.
  • Food is low in acid. Dishes containing meat, cooked vegetables and eggs are particularly risky.
  • Moisture is right for growth.
You cannot change the food or moisture, but you can keep food at a certain temperature or minimize the time it is in the dangerous temperature zone.

Download a printable Refrigerator Storage Chart

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet - HYG-5401-94

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