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The Flow of Food: Storage

Apply Your Knowledge: Test Your Food Safety Knowledge

1. True or False: Potato salad that has been prepared in-house

and stored at 41°F (5°C) must be discarded after three days

2. True or False: Food can be stored near chemicals as long as

the chemicals are stored in sturdy, clearly labeled containers

3. True or False: Storing cans of tomatoes at 65°F (18°C) is


4. True or False: Raw chicken must be stored below ready-to-

eat food, such as pumpkin pie, if it is stored in the same walk-
in refrigerator

5. True or False: If stored food has passed its expiration date, it

should be served at once

General Storage Guidelines

Label Food
Potentially hazardous, ready-to-eat food
prepared on-site must contain a label that
„ The name of the food
„ The date by which it should be sold,
consumed or discarded

General Storage Guidelines

Rotate products to ensure the

oldest inventory is used first

One way to rotate products is

to follow FIFO:
„ Identify the use-by or expiration
date of products
„ Shelve products with the earliest
dates in front of those with later dates
„ Use products stored in front first

General Storage Guidelines

Deplete stored product

on a regular basis

If product is not sold or consumed by a

predetermined date:
„ Throw it out
„ Clean and sanitize the container
„ Refill the container with new product

General Storage Guidelines

Discard food that has passed the

manufacturer’s expiration date

Potentially hazardous, ready-to-eat food

that was prepared in-house:
„ Can be stored for 7 days at 41°F (5°C)
or lower
„ Must be thrown out after 7 days

General Storage Guidelines

Transfer food between

containers properly

If food is removed from its original package:

„ Put it in a clean, sanitized container
„ Cover it
„ Label the container with:
„ The name of the food
„ The original use-by or expiration date

General Storage Guidelines

Keep potentially hazardous food

out of the temperature danger zone
„ Store deliveries after inspection
„ Take out only as much food
as can be prepared at one time
„ Put prepared food away
until needed
„ Properly cool and store cooked
food when it’s no longer needed

General Storage Guidelines

Check temperatures of
stored food and storage areas

Photo courtesy of Roger Bonafield and Dingbats

General Storage Guidelines

Store food in designated

storage areas

Do not store food:

„ Near chemicals or cleaning
„ In restrooms
„ In locker rooms
„ In janitor closets Never store food near chemicals
or cleaning supplies
„ In furnace rooms
„ Under stairways or pipes

General Storage Guidelines

Keep all storage areas clean and dry

„ Clean up spills immediately
„ Clean dollies, carts, transporters, and trays

Refrigerated Storage

Refrigerated Storage
„ Used to hold potentially
hazardous food at 41°F
(5°C) or lower
„ Slows the growth of

Refrigerated Storage Guidelines

Set refrigerators to the

proper temperature
„ The setting must keep the
food at an internal temperature
of 41°F (5°C) or lower

Refrigerated Storage Guidelines

Monitor food temperature regularly

„ Randomly sample the
internal temperature of
stored food with a
calibrated thermometer

Refrigerated Storage Guidelines

Do not overload refrigerators

Storing too many products:
„ Prevents good airflow
„ Makes units work harder

Overloaded refrigerator

Refrigerated Storage Guidelines

Use open shelving in the unit

Lining shelving with the following
restricts air circulation:
„ Aluminum foil
„ Sheet pans
„ Paper

Refrigerated Storage Guidelines

Never place hot food in

„ This can warm the interior
and put other food into the
temperature danger zone

Refrigerated Storage Guidelines

Keep refrigerator doors closed as

much as possible
„ Frequent opening lets warm air inside

Use cold curtains to help maintain


Refrigerated Storage Guidelines

Store raw meat, poultry, and fish:

„ Separately from cooked and
ready-to-eat food

„ Below cooked and

ready-to-eat food

Improper Storage

Refrigerated Storage Guidelines

Wrap food properly

„ Leaving it uncovered can lead to cross-contamination

Apply Your Knowledge: Load the Fridge

Store each item on the proper storage shelf

2 C
Cooked and
A Whole, raw meat ready-to-eat food

B Raw poultry D Raw ground meat

Frozen Storage Guidelines

When storing food in freezers:

„ Keep freezers at a temperature that will
keep products frozen
„ Check freezer temperatures regularly
„ Place deliveries in freezers as soon as
they have been inspected
„ Clearly label frozen food that was
prepared on site

Dry Storage Guidelines

Keep storerooms:
„ Cool (50°F to 70°F [10°C to 21°C])
„ Dry (50% to 60% humidity)
„ Well ventilated
„ Clean

Dry Storage Guidelines

When storing food in dry

storage keep it:
„ Away from walls
„ Out of direct sunlight
„ At least 6” (15 cm)
off the floor

Storing Meat

When storing fresh meat:

„ Store it at an internal temperature
of 41°F (5°C) or lower
„ Wrap it in airtight, moisture-proof

„ Place it in a clean, sanitized container

Storing Poultry

When storing fresh poultry:

„ Store it at an internal temperature
of 41°F (5°C) or lower
„ Store ice-packed product as is
in self-draining containers
„ Change the ice often
„ Clean and sanitize the
container regularly

Storing Fish

When storing fresh fish:

„ Store it at an internal temperature
of 41°F (5°C) or lower
„ Store ice-packed product as is
in self-draining containers
„ Keep fillets and steaks in original
„ Store frozen fish in moisture-proof

Storing Eggs and Egg Products

Shell Eggs:
„ Store at an air temperature
of 45°F (7°C) or lower
„ Keep eggs in refrigerated
storage until used
„ Use eggs within 4-5 weeks of
packing date

Liquid Eggs:
„ Store according to manufacturer’s
„ Keep in refrigerated storage until used

Dried Eggs:
„ Store product in a dry, cool storeroom
Storing Shellfish

When storing shellfish:

„ Store alive at an air temperature
of 45°F (7°C) or lower
„ Store in original containers
„ Keep shellstock tags on file for
90 days from the harvest date
of the shellfish
„ Obtain a variance if storing shellfish in
a display tank prior to service

Storing Dairy

When storing dairy:

„ Store fresh at 41°F (5°C) or lower
„ Follow FIFO
„ Discard product that has passed
use-by or expiration dates

Storing Produce

When storing fresh produce:

„ Storage temperatures will vary by
„ Product packed on ice can be stored
as is
„ Do not wash product prior to storage
„ When soaking or storing product in
standing water or an ice water slurry:
„ Do not mix different items
„ Do not mix multiple batches
of the same item

Apply Your Knowledge: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Find the unsafe storage practices in this picture: