Ina Garten - Make it Ahead cover

Ina Garten - Make it Ahead

10 Tips for Safely Storing Food

  1. 1. Check sell-by dates on all fresh food, such as milk and yogurt, to be sure you use them before they spoil.
  2. 2. Put proteins, such as meat and fish, on the bottom shelves of the fridge so they don’t accidentally drip onto things like fruit or cheese that you might be eating without cooking. Place a plate or tray under the packages to catch drips.
  3. 3. Most meat, except ground meat, lasts for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. Ground meats should be used within a day or two.
  4. 4. Cool cooked food almost to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Storing hot food will raise the temperature of the refrigerator and compromise the other food.
  5. 5. Test your refrigerator with a thermometer to be sure it stays between 38 and 42 degrees and the freezer stays below 0 degrees.
  6. 6. Plastic wrap stretches best on the diagonal when you’re wrapping dishes or food. I use Stretch-Tite plastic wrap, which is available in grocery stores and at
  7. 7. Wrap dishes of food both over and under the dish to create a tight seal.
  8. 8. Air is the enemy of food stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Push excess air out of plastic storage bags and store refrigerated food in properly sized bowls or containers.
  9. 9. Don’t stack containers or dishes in the fridge so the food cools quickly. 10. Most cooked food can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week, except fish, which should only be stored for a day or two.