If a food is past the “use by” date, even if it has been refrigerated the whole time, throw it out. If anything looks or smells questionable, be safe and get rid of it.
Never thaw food by leaving it out at room temperature. Bacteria can grow on the outer, warmer parts of the food while the center is still frozen. There are three safe ways to thaw frozen foods: in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave. To thaw in water, change the water every half-hour to make sure it stays cold. If you thaw in the microwave, you need to cook the food immediately.
Practice safe storage
Keeping food in the refrigerator slows down but does not stop the growth of bacteria. Keep track of when you put food into the fridge. Check out these Food Safety Charts to learn how long how long you can safely keep food in there, and for tips on safe food preparation.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Buy, Store & Serve Safe Food. Web. December 2, 2013.
Foodsafety.gov. Storage Times for the Refrigerator and Freezer. Web. December 2, 2013.
Reviewed December 4, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith