The Dos and Don’ts of Food Storage: Experts Share their Top Advice


Proper food storage is essential for maintaining food quality and preventing foodborne illnesses. Whether you are storing fresh produce, leftovers, or pantry staples, following best practices can help extend the shelf life of your food and keep it safe to eat. We reached out to experts to get their top dos and don’ts for food storage.

The Dos

  • Store raw meat, poultry, and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator: This prevents any juices from dripping onto other foods and causing cross-contamination.
  • Use airtight containers or resealable bags for leftovers: This helps prevent spoilage and keeps your leftovers tasting fresh.
  • Label and date all food containers: This helps you track how long food has been in the fridge or freezer and avoid eating expired food.
  • Keep perishable foods in the refrigerator at 40°F or below: This slows down the growth of bacteria and prevents food from spoiling prematurely.
  • Rotate food in the pantry and refrigerator: Use older items first to prevent food waste and ensure you are always eating fresh food.
  • Use the “first in, first out” method: When organizing your pantry, put newer items behind older ones so you use up older items before they expire.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t leave perishable foods out at room temperature for more than two hours: This can promote the growth of harmful bacteria and lead to foodborne illnesses.
  • Don’t store raw meat, poultry, or seafood above ready-to-eat foods in the refrigerator: Raw juices can drip down and contaminate foods that will not be cooked before eating.
  • Don’t overload the refrigerator or pantry: Overcrowding prevents air circulation and can lead to uneven cooling or heating, causing food to spoil more quickly.
  • Don’t wash fruits and vegetables before storing them: Moisture can promote mold growth, so it’s best to wait and wash them before consuming.
  • Don’t keep food in opened cans: Transfer leftovers to airtight containers to maintain freshness and prevent contamination from the can.
  • Don’t store potatoes and onions together: Potatoes release moisture and gases that can cause onions to spoil faster.


By following these dos and don’ts of food storage, you can ensure that your food stays fresh, safe, and delicious for as long as possible. Proper storage techniques not only help prevent food waste but also protect your health and well-being. So, take the advice of experts and start implementing these best practices in your kitchen today!


Leave a Comment