Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Q's Day - Refrigerators

Today is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day in the USA.  I thought I would take this time to provide some food safety tips from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

Fridge and Freezer Checklist
Refrigeration slows down most bacterial growth while freezing can stop the growth of most bacteria. (But remember: refrigeration and freezing won't kill bacteria. Only proper cooking will do that!)
  • Don't let bacteria get a foothold! After you shop, immediately put away food that needs to be refrigerated or frozen.
  • Check the temperature of your fridge and freezer. Are they cold enough?
    • Set refrigerators at or below 4°C (40°F). Use a refrigerator thermometer to check the temperature.
    • Keep freezers at or below -18°C (0°F). Use a freezer thermometer to check the temperature.
  • Don't overload your fridge and freezer. Cool air must circulate freely to keep food properly chilled.
  • Clean the refrigerator and freezer regularly.
  • Bacteria can be carried in raw meat juices. Place raw meat, poultry and seafood in containers on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Use containers that are large enough to prevent raw juices from dripping onto or touching other food.
It seems that this holiday occurs to help Americans create room for Thanksgiving food and leftovers that will soon be around.  Since we've already celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada, take this time to look at the leftovers you've had for too long and throw them out.

Health Canada suggests:
  • Eat refrigerated leftovers within 2 to 3 days, or freeze them for later use.
  • Date leftovers to help identify the contents and to ensure they are not stored too long.
  • When in doubt, throw it out!
Since it is Q's Day, I am wondering:
- when was the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator?
- what scary old food did you find?

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching