If meat is purchased from a supermarket or independent food retailer, always refer to the `use-by’ dates on pack. Store in the fridge until the use by date. If meat is purchased from an independent butcher ask for specific storage advice from the butcher.
Store all raw meat, poultry or fish on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. You need to make sure they don’t drip on other food in the fridge so wrap in a plastic bag if you think the packaging may leak.
Check your fridge is operating at the correct temperature: between 0 and 4 degrees centigrade.
Ensure that hands, equipment and surfaces are scrupulously clean before and after handling food and between handling raw and cooked foods. When marinating meat, cover and store in a refrigerator. If you can keep a separate hard, durable chopping board for preparing raw meats. If not, ensure that the chopping board is washed in hot soapy water between preparing raw and cooked food. Ensure any cooked meat dishes are cooled quickly, transferred to a suitable container, covered and stored in the fridge above any raw meat. Defrost frozen foods thoroughly (unless otherwise stated) and do not re-freeze once thawed. Make sure foods are thoroughly and evenly defrosted, and when re-heating ensure it is piping hot throughout (to 75°C if using a thermometer).
Mince should be moist, rich and length in colour, but not pale or pink. Avoid mince that looks dry and dark brown as this can indicate the normal shelf of the product may be reduced. Store mince in it’s original packaging in the coldest part of the fridge where it will keep for 1-2 days or frozen for 3-4 months, but wrap in aluminum foil to protect from freezer burn.
To defrost mince
Defrost mince overnight, never in water and use as soon after possible defrosting
Ideally, eggs should be refrigerated as soon as possible after purchase. Store the eggs in their original egg box cartons, away from strong smelling food, preferably on the top shelf of the fridge. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling egg shells.
Onions and shallots- Store your onions in a cool place, preferable in the vegetable section of the fridge. You can store them in a vegetable rack, but remember to remove any onions from the original plastic packaging.
Spring onions –Store in the vegetable section of the fridge
Root vegetables and potatoes – Store your root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, turnips and potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place preferably not in the fridge. A vegetable rack is perfect for them.
Store fresh pasta in the fridge and pay attention to any `use-by’ dates on the packaging. Once opened use within 2-3 days.
If you prefer dried pasta, once opened place in an airtight storage jar or a large plastic food bag, seal and store in your food cupboard.
Dry Uncooked Rice
Store uncooked rice at room temperature in a cool dry place, ideally in an air-tight sealed container. Your food cupboard is the ideal choice. Once the rice packet is opened, ensure that the packet is tightly sealed before returning to the cupboard.
Generally homemade cooked rice can be stored in a sealed plastic food container for 2-3 days.
To avoid any food poisoning it is important to cool any leftover homemade cooked rice very quickly prior to storing.
Freshly cooked homemade rice will freeze well for up to one month too, just make sure it is fully cooled before you put it in the freezer.
To reheat cooked rice
Simply put any cooked rice in a saucepan with a few spoonfuls of cold water over a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is piping hot throughout. Rice can be successfully reheated in the microwave too, but always refer to the manufacturer’s handbook for the correct reheating time that is based on the wattage of your microwave oven.
Always discard any leftover reheated rice.
Ideally, store any cheese well wrapped in waxed paper or foil (not in cling film), or in a small airtight container. Cheese and other dairy products should go on the top shelf of your fridge