No food lasts forever however well it’s stored. Having said that you can take measures that will help to ensure that foodstuff lasts as long as possible.

First in first out (FIFO)
Practice good stock rotation by stocking your pantry with older foods at the front and newer purchases at the back. This encourages the use of the oldest stock first.

General tips for storing food

  • Foods should be stored off the floor.
  • Make sure that any stored food does not physically come into contact with any walls in store rooms, cupboards or any part of a refrigerator.
  • Keep cupboards and food storage areas clean, cool and dry.
  • Store food in clean, appropriate containers.
  • Storage contents should be used up completely before refilling, avoid ‘topping up’.
  • Dried foods should be stored in washable airtight containers (this helps to prevent moisture and heat from damaging them).

Storing raw meat

  • Keep packages of raw meat in separate plastic bags from everything else, this helps to keep meat juices from leaking onto other foods.
  • Keep raw foods cold.
  • In a refrigerator stock raw foods below cooked foods.

Perishable foods
Refrigerate these within one to two hours, especially in warm weather.

Regularly check storage for pest infestation.

Storage space
There should be sufficient storage racking or shelves available so that all food and equipment can be kept at least 150mm clear of the floor. The space beneath the lowest shelf needs to large enough for effective cleaning and pest inspection.

Do not store food in:

  • restrooms
  • furnace rooms
  • stairwells
  • hallways

Labelling stored food
Labels must be accurate and should display the following details

  • Name of the food.
  • A list of ingredients.
  • Best Before or Use By date.
  • Details of any special storage requirements.
  • Metric weight indication.

Location of storage areas
Food storage areas should be in a place that avoids the need to have to carry deliveries through food preparation areas.

Label chemicals and disinfectants and store them in a separate area away from food


Related courses
Food hygiene course online