Beware of fridge food poisoning peril

Updated 2017-10-12 10:32:54 Shanghai Daily

Food poisoning from eating leftovers is still possible even if it has been stored in a fridge, experts have warned.

One mistake people make is not storing cooked and raw food separately in a fridge.

A major type of bacteria that contaminates food is called listeria.

Listeria is one of the food contamination sources the China Food and Drug Administration issues annual warnings about. In China, this type of bacteria is usually found in raw meat and some other dairy products.

To prevent contamination, people need to avoid storing raw meat and none disinfected dairy products in the fridge.

These foods must be stored in a separate storage unit in the freezer and cooked thoroughly before consumption.

Another myth about preserving food is to wait for food to cool down before putting them in a fridge. Although this arguably helps with a fridge's functioning, the process of food cooling down accelerates bacterial growth, especially in the summer, when some harmful bacteria can double in less than half an hour during the process of cooling down.

Experts suggest people put food in the fridge only if the dish is not very hot.

On the other hand, there are some foods which should not be refrigerated at all. This includes honey, chocolate and tropical fruits, such as mangos and bananas. Tropical fruit should be stored under temperature of 12 degrees Celsius.

Some other general rules for fridge use includes using storage bags or boxes to separate different kinds of food, constantly defrosting the fridge and keeping it at the right temperature.

Recommended temperatures are 4 degrees for cooler and below -18 for freezer. Juice and jam should be finished early after being opened. Leftover dishes and rice should be eaten as soon as possible to prevent food poisoning.

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