Don’t break the cold chain

This is the chain of chilled food storage and distribution. Micro-organisms multiply rapidly in food at room temperature so the solution, to avoid food poisoning, is to make sure that the cold chain isn’t broken. Bacteria are everywhere in the environment, and some can affect the quality of products and be dangerous to health. Below 5°C, their growth is slowed down or even stopped. Maintaining standards for temperatures makes it possible to avoid excessive bacterial growth.

We’re all involved; what good habits should we develop?

You don’t have to turn your life upside down to maintain the cold chain! By adopting the right habits, we can tackle the growth of micro-organisms.

Preparation is key. Bearing in mind that the average supermarket visit lasts 57 minutes, but a cool bag will only keep its contents cool for up to 30 minutes, it’s essential to leave the frozen products until last.

If your journey is longer than 30 minutes, consider putting your food in a coolbox, which extends the cool time to 1 hour 30 minutes.

Another essential: Put your shopping away without delay when you get back home.

The “best before” date for food is only valid if it’s been stored at the correct temperature. You have to read the labels to find out the storage temperature for each foodstuff. Ideally, you could put the foods to be eaten first at the front of your refrigerator.

When you defrost an item, bacteria multiply as the temperature rises. And this process continues when you’re freezing a product in a domestic freezer. This is a relatively slow process, so the risk of food poisoning increases. Refreezing a frozen product after it’s thawed is always a risk.


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