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SAFE FOOD STORAGE

Why do we store food?
Food is stored to prevent deterioration or contamination by

  • Microorganisms (e.g. fungi, bacteria)
  • Insects and mites
  • Rodents (rats and mice)
  • Birds
  • Metabolic activity (natural death)
  • Chemicals (e.g. pesticides)

Commodities that may be stored are:

  • Perishables (fruits and vegetables)
  • Semi-perishables (roots and tubers)
  • Durables (cereal grains)

Food must be stored so that-

  • the quality does not deteriorate during storage.
  • the quantity in storage is not unintentionally reduced.
  • it is secure against pests, disease and physical loss,
  • it is accessible at the time and in the quantity required.

Some Food Storage Tips

Perishables must be stored -

  • in a cool and controlled environment.
  • with compatible products (onions and garlic impart odours, ethylene producing fruits e.g. tomatoes should not be stored with green leafy vegetables).

Durables are to be stored -

  • in a cool dry place.
  • off the ground.
  • off the wall.
  • away from the ceiling.
  • away from appliances that produce heat.
  • Packaging containers of dried foods/durable commodities, once opened, are to be resealed tightly or transferred to a storage container with proper fitting lids.

  • Store food in impermeable containers to reduce moisture loss or moisture absorption.

  • Store food away from pesticides, cleaning aids and other chemicals to prevent contamination and possible poisoning.

  • Do notstore food in pesticide containers or use pesticide containers to store food.

  • Buildings and containers of food are to be secure (proofed) from pest entry.

  • Before storing food check the ‘best before’ and the ‘used by’ dates. 

  • Remember the ‘first in first out’ rule and ‘when in doubt throw it out’. 

  • Do not transport food items in the same compartments with pesticides or other chemicals.

  • Do not store food with non-food items.

 


 

 

 

 

Copyright Food Storage & Prevention of Infestation Division