Just like most other living organisms, bacteria require warmth, moisture, food, as well as adequate time to grow and reproduce. Hot foods should be kept hot and cold foods kept cold so as to prevent bacteria from growing and multiplying.
One of the key tips to keep in mind is that all leftover foods need to be refrigerated within a maximum of two hours. If food is held for more than two hours in the range of 60 to 125 Fahrenheit, it can become unsafe. The mentioned range is the zone associated with rapid bacterial growth. When determining the length of time that food has been in the mentioned temperature range, it is essential to include all the time involved during storage, preparation, as well as serving. For instance, it is not safe to hold foods for many hours in an oven with a timer that is automatic for cooking. Another tip to keep in mind is that perishables should be handled with caution prior to getting them home. When doing grocery shopping, it is recommended to pick perishables last, particularly if the weather is hot. Once at home, they should be refrigerated quickly. All perishable food products including meat, dairy and eggs should be stored at temperatures that are less than forty degrees Fahrenheit. The refrigerator temperature needs to range from 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
More often than not, the number of bacteria is held down to safe levels when food is promptly cooled and properly refrigerated. Large food quantities may be put in shallow, open containers so as to speed their cooling process. Following the mentioned tips will promote food safety and increase the shelf life of food products such as perishables.