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Temperatures of 4°C (40 °F) or below will slow the growth of food borne bacteria, which can grow rapidly at warmer temperatures. It is important to chill foods promptly and properly to prevent the growth of harmful microbes.

  • A constant refrigerator temperature of 4°C (40 °F) or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of food borne illness and slow the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • A refrigerator thermometer is required to be used in all fridges to ensure the temperature is consistently 4°C (40 °F) or below.  Refrigerator thermometers are tools that stay in your refrigerator to display actual temperatures (separate from refrigerator dials).
  • Thermometers should be located in the warmest part of the fridge, which is near the door, near the top of the fridge.  Temperatures should be monitored daily to ensure they stay at or below 4°C (40°F).
  • Don’t allow the temperature to go too low.  As temperatures approach 0°C (32°F), ice crystals can form and lower the quality of foods.
  • Keep foods cold at all times either in the refrigerator, in coolers or on ice.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods and leftovers within two hours of purchase or use. If the temperature is 32°C  (90°F) or above, cut this time down to one hour.  If food has been sitting out longer than two hours, throw it away.
  • Separate large amounts of leftovers into shallow containers for quicker cooling.   Remember shallow containers are 10 cm (4 inches) deep or less. To cool quickly place in an ice water bath and stir or use a cooling stick to stir until cool.  Place leftovers near the top of the fridge so they don’t warm the food above.
  • Keep raw meats on the bottom shelf in sealed containers to prevent juices from dripping.
  • Do not over stuff the refrigerator. Cold air must circulate to keep food at a safe temperature.
  • Know when to toss items out.  You can’t tell by looking or smelling whether harmful bacteria have started growing in your leftovers or refrigerated foods. Date left overs and follow best before and expiry dates on foods.
  • Hit the road cold - when traveling, be aware that time, temperature and a cold source are key.  Always use ice or ice packs. A full cooler will maintain cold temperatures longer than a partially filled one.
  • Refrigerator Storage Chart

Step 4 - Chill



Temperatures of 4°C (40 °F) or below will slow the growth of food borne bacteria, which can grow rapidly at warmer temperatures. It is important to chill foods promptly and properly to prevent the growth of harmful microbes.

  • A constant refrigerator temperature of 4°C (40 °F) or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of food borne illness and slow the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • A refrigerator thermometer is required to be used in all fridges to ensure the temperature is consistently 4°C (40 °F) or below.  Refrigerator thermometers are tools that stay in your refrigerator to display actual temperatures (separate from refrigerator dials).
  • Thermometers should be located in the warmest part of the fridge, which is near the door, near the top of the fridge.  Temperatures should be monitored daily to ensure they stay at or below 4°C (40°F).
  • Don’t allow the temperature to go too low.  As temperatures approach 0°C (32°F), ice crystals can form and lower the quality of foods.
  • Keep foods cold at all times either in the refrigerator, in coolers or on ice.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods and leftovers within two hours of purchase or use. If the temperature is 32°C  (90°F) or above, cut this time down to one hour.  If food has been sitting out longer than two hours, throw it away.
  • Separate large amounts of leftovers into shallow containers for quicker cooling.   Remember shallow containers are 10 cm (4 inches) deep or less. To cool quickly place in an ice water bath and stir or use a cooling stick to stir until cool.  Place leftovers near the top of the fridge so they don’t warm the food above.
  • Keep raw meats on the bottom shelf in sealed containers to prevent juices from dripping.
  • Do not over stuff the refrigerator. Cold air must circulate to keep food at a safe temperature.
  • Know when to toss items out.  You can’t tell by looking or smelling whether harmful bacteria have started growing in your leftovers or refrigerated foods. Date left overs and follow best before and expiry dates on foods.
  • Hit the road cold - when traveling, be aware that time, temperature and a cold source are key.  Always use ice or ice packs. A full cooler will maintain cold temperatures longer than a partially filled one.
  • Refrigerator Storage Chart
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