The importance of cold-chain continuity

Hot weather: tips on storing food properly

Storing food at a low temperature slows down the growth of microorganisms and reduces the occurrence of foodborne illness, while preserving the food’s nutritional and organoleptic qualities. ANSES makes some recommendations for ensuring the continuity of the cold chain, especially in periods of particularly hot weather. 

When shopping

  • leave the purchase of the most fragile products and deep-frozen products until last;
  • use thermal shopping bags to transport your most perishable foodstuffs;
  • if you are driving to the shops, use all available means to reduce the car’s interior temperature while it is parked (screen, shade);
  • limit transport time between the place of purchase and your home;
  • organise your purchases so as to be able to place the most sensitive foods in your refrigerator or freezer as quickly as possible when you return home.

Back home

  • store foodstuffs in your refrigerator according to their fragility. The most perishable foods need to be kept at the coldest temperatures;
  • check your refrigerator’s temperature on a regular basis. The temperature in the coldest compartment should always be lower than 4°C;
  • after you purchase foodstuffs, try to prepare and consume them as quickly as possible.

When consuming foodstuffs

  • minimise the exposure of sensitive foodstuffs to room temperature and return them to the refrigerator immediately after use;
  • consume sensitive foods rapidly once they have been opened. Leftovers that have been kept at ambient temperature for a long time should be consumed even more rapidly or thrown away;
  • strictly adhere to the use-by date.