How to use the safe methods
Keeping food cold
It is very important to keep certain foods cold because harmful
bacteria can grow in them if they are not chilled properly. It is
also important to take care when freezing or defrosting food.
Safety point Why? How do you do this?
Certain foods need to be kept in the
fridge to keep them safe e.g.
• food with a ‘use by’ date
• food that says ‘keep refrigerated’
on the label
• cooked food e.g. food you have
cooked in advance or leftovers
• ready-to-eat food such as
sandwiches, salads and some
Put food that you buy frozen e.g.
ice cream, in the freezer straight
away unless you are going to use it
If these types of food are not kept
cold enough, harmful bacteria
Do you put these types of food into
the fridge (or freezer) straight away:
• when you return with shopping or
when food is delivered?
• when a parent/guardian brings
• after you have used it?
• after you have cooked and cooled
If not, what do you do?
Make sure that you do not use food
after its ‘use by’ date.
Food that has passed its ‘use by’
date might not be safe to eat.
It is a good idea to check ‘use by’
dates every day.
Make sure your fridge is set at 5°C
or below and your freezer is working
You should check the temperature of
your fridge every day. You only need
to write it down if something goes
Setting your fridge at 5°C will
make sure the food is kept at
8°C or below. This is a legal
requirement in England, Wales
and Northern Ireland, and
recommended in Scotland.
You can check this using a fridge
thermometer. Some fridges will
have a digital display to show what
temperature they are set at but
you should check regularly that the
temperature shown on the display is
accurate, using a fridge thermometer.
If you take food (e.g. sandwiches or
yoghurts) with you when you go out,
it is a good idea to use a cool bag and
ice blocks to keep the food cold until
you are ready to eat it.
It is important to keep chilled
food cold to prevent harmful
bacteria from growing.
Do you do this? Yes
If you cook food that will not be
eaten immediately (or have leftovers),
cool it down, ideally within one to
two hours, and then put it in the
fridge or freezer.
Use up any leftovers within 48 hours.
You can make food cool down more
quickly by dividing food into smaller
Harmful bacteria can grow in food
if not cooled down quickly and
then put in the fridge or freezer.
highlights things that are
important to make food safely.
Pictures help to illustrate the
why the safety point
column is for you to write
down what you do.
In some places you only need
places write a small amount.
= right = wrong