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Food Storage Copy

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Food Storage

Food storage areas include: dry storage, frozen storage and refrigerated storage.

Food should be stored in such a way that it is protected from the likelihood of contamination. Contamination may be a result of microbiological contamination, chemical contamination, or contamination from foreign objects.
Microbiological contamination may occur when raw meat is stored next to or above ready-to-eat foods. Juices containing bacteria from this meat may leach into the ready-to-eat food, potentially leading to food poisoning if this contaminated ready-to-eat food is consumed.
To avoid chemical contamination always make sure that chemicals are stored separate to food storage areas and that food is stored in appropriate food-grade containers.
Another source of contamination is from foreign objects. Foreign objects such as dirt, pests, hair, glass, and plastic may contaminate food if the premises is not kept clean, well organised and if food is not stored in vermin proof sealed containers.
Contamination may also be a result of chemicals coming into contact with food. This may occur if chemicals are stored in close proximity to food.
Chemical contamination may also occur if food is stored in direct contact with non food-grade containers. An example is where rice or flour is stored in direct contact with plastic garbage bins. These bins may not be food-grade plastic and chemicals from the plastic may leach into the food.
To avoid chemical contamination always make sure that chemicals are stored separate to food storage areas and that food is stored in appropriate food-grade containers.
Another source of contamination is from foreign objects. Foreign objects such as dirt, pests, hair, glass, and plastic may contaminate food if the premises is not kept clean, well organised and if food is not stored in vermin proof sealed containers.
To prevent contamination from foreign objects ensure: 
food storage areas are clean and free from pests;
that non-food related items are stored separately such as admin items (for example pen lids or thumb tacks that may fall into food);
and that food is stored in fully enclosed containers at all times.

Environmental conditions under which food is stored should not adversely affect the safety or suitability of the food. Such conditions may relate to temperature, humidity, light, or atmosphere. You should refer to manufacturer’s specifications for any particular requirements regarding this.
Potentially hazardous food must be stored under temperature control. This means storing cold food at or below 5°C and hot food at or above 60°C.
So as to ensure food is stored at the correct temperature, temperature checks should be carried out regularly and appropriate action taken if food is found to be in the temperature danger zone.
Such action may include moving the food into storage that will hold the food at adequate temperatures or discarding the food if there is a chance that bacteria have multiplied to dangerous levels.

Frozen foods must be kept frozen during storage and in most cases, once thawed or partially thawed, they should not be re-frozen. When placing stock in large display freezers ensure load lines are complied with so that thawing does not occur.
Also, foods stored in the freezer should be sealed and where necessary should be date marked to ensure recommended storage times are not exceeded.

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