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Safe storage tips

Follow these basic storage guidelines to make sure your food is safe to eat. 


Discard any food that looks questionable or has an unusual smell, texture or colour. 

Put food in airtight containers to prevent liquids from spilling. Juices from raw meat or poultry, for example, will contaminate other foods. Store ready-to-eat foods above raw foods.

Clean your refrigerator regularly. Use detergent, followed by a bleach solution to disinfect it.

Keep perishable foods in the refrigerator between 0ºC and 4ºC. Microorganisms grow more slowly at those temperatures.

Put a thermometer in the refrigerator near the door, where the temperature is highest. Check the temperature often and adjust it as needed.

Vacuum-packed foods

Follow the same precautions as with other perishable foods. Harmful bacteria can also develop in an oxygen-free environment.

Freon leaks

If your refrigerator is leaking, call a specialist to confirm whether it is Freon. The amount of Freon in a refrigerator is usually not enough to contaminate a normally ventilated room.

In most cases, Freon does not contaminate food. However, if a Freon leak occurs, check whether the food is still being stored at an appropriate temperature.

If you are unsure whether a food item is safe, it is best to discard it.


  • Freeze food while it is still fresh to limit the amount of bacteria it contains. 
  • Use freezer bags or containers. Be sure to remove all air from them to prevent your food from drying out and stop its taste, smell, colour and texture from changing.
  • Keep food frozen at -18ºC or lower. At that temperature, microorganisms that cause food spoilage stop multiplying.
  • Do not refreeze thawed food unless it has been cooked first. Freezing changes the texture of food, meaning that microorganisms can grow in it faster.

Difference between regular and flash freezing 

Regular freezing slowly lowers the temperature of a food product to below the freezing point. It allows food to be kept longer without undergoing too many changes.

Flash freezing is usually an industrial process in which food is quickly brought to a very low temperature. When unfrozen, a flash-frozen product is usually less changed than a product that underwent regular freezing.

Frozen food should ideally be kept in the freezer at a temperature of -18ºC or lower.


Keep your dry goods in airtight containers to protect them from moisture and potential contamination from dust or insects. 

Pay attention to “Refrigerate after opening” instructions on packaging for items like milk, mayonnaise, salad dressing, preserves, jam, syrup and marinades.

The following precautions must also be taken for commercial canned goods: 

  • Discard bulging or rusty cans.
  • Discard unlabelled cans. 
  • Do not dent cans when handling them. 
  • Transfer opened canned goods into airtight containers and store them in the refrigerator to preserve their quality and taste.
  • Discard cans that are dented, give off an abnormal smell or spray when opened.

Last update: March 26, 2024


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