Food Saftey

Your Food and the Temperature Danger Zone

Did you know leaving food out beyond just two hours could create an environment for bacteria to grow? You might want to rethink eating that leftover pizza that sat out all night!

According to the USDA, food loss and waste accounts for one third of the food intended for human consumption in the United States. Since becoming the Member Services Supervisor, I have taken numerous returns for spoiled meats, dairy products, fish, frozen foods, and produce. I sometimes ask myself what happens to these items from the time they are purchased to the time they are brought home. Is there one more stop before going home that took too long?

Situations like this make your food susceptible to the temperature danger zone.

The Temperature danger zone is temperature range of 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

How we keep food safe for consumption is dependent upon how food is handled from the time it leaves the store to the time you get it home.

Food Safety Tips and Tricks

With food prices climbing, everyone is looking for ways to stretch their food budget. One of the best things you can do is something simple—eat what you buy and reduce waste! Here are some helpful hints:

  • If you know you are going to be delayed getting home, bring coolers with ice packs.
  • Don’t have a cooler? Ask our friendly meat and seafood staff for help. They can give you plastic bags with ice to help keep your perishables out of the temperature danger zone.
  • Ground meat, poultry, seafood, and variety meats (liver, tongue, and chitterlings) can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before cooking or freezing.
    Beef, veal, lamb, pork roast, steaks, and chops can be refrigerated 3-5 days.
  • Want to cut down on the amount of food you throw out? Try these tricks.

By Sandy Cleveland
Member Services Supervisor and Food Safety Team Leader
Lebanon Co-op

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