Did you know you should use cracked eggs only if thoroughly cooked to kill bacteria? Or, did you know roasts may be stored in the refrigerator for 5-6 days, but ground meats and stew meat only for 2 days? Or did you know hamburger should be frozen for only 4 months, but roasts freeze successfully for a year?

Fish may be stored in refrigerator for 1-2 days, but may be frozen 2 - 4 months. Information such as this, as well as well as how to pick and store perfect melons or mushrooms and all other fruits and vegetables, are only a few of the facts covered in my books.

Buying, Storing, and Keeping Foods Safe

Clean; Separate; Cook; Chill

Here are a few other things to remember:

  1. Keep hands and cooking tools clean.
  2. Don’t cross contaminate foods by allowing bacterial to spread from one food to another. For example, don’t allow raw meat or its juices to touch other foods. always place cooked food on a clean plate
  3. Cook foods to proper temperatures to kill bacteria according to type of food you are cooking. Reheat leftovers to165 degrees to kill bacteria.
  4. Keep cold foods cold (40 degrees or below) and hot foods hot (140 degrees or above) and refrigerate promptly after cooking. Home cooked foods will keep
    3-4 days refrigerated or 2-3 months frozen.

“Use By” date (determined by manufacturers), is the last date of product’s peak quality. After this date, texture, taste and quality may decrease, but it doesn’t mean food is unsafe.

“Sell By” indicates how long store may display.

“Best if used by” means product will be freshest and best if you eat by this date.

“Expiration” date is the only packaging date related to food safety. If this date has passed, throw the item out. Most of all, if something smells bad or is a suspicious color, toss it. Use common sense.

Confusing Date Codes Explained: