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29

Two problems Hot or warm food will briefly warm up food already in fridge, especially items immediately near it, and cycling temperatures does not help fresh food quality or life It is very power inefficient to do this, just let it cool on the bench until it reaches room temperature and then place it in the refrigerator


24

Normally a domestic freezer is best set to −18 °C (0 °F) or colder, as that's what the expiration dates for many food items are based on. It's also a requirement for freezers in restaurants, supermarkets & other places that sell food (at least here in Europe) to maintain a temperature of at most -18 °C. A general purpose domestic fridge should be at ...


23

Daniel is spot-on with his answer. I'll elaborate on it a bit here. As indicated by his bottled water in the freezer trick, a full freezer is a happy freezer. The same applies to the refrigerator too. While I wouldn't put random bottles of water throughout my refrigerator, it's important to know that the fuller your refrigerator is, the more it holds its ...


22

Some facts seem to be getting mixed up here. Hot food is going to remain "warm" (i.e. in the danger zone) much longer if you leave it on the counter rather than in the fridge. That's basic physics. If the ambient temperature is colder, then the food will stay warm for less time, leaving less time for bacteria to grow. There are reasons not to pop a huge ...


21

The exterior coating on an egg is known as the 'cuticle'. It helps to protect the otherwise porous nature of the shell and minimize moisture loss but it eventually breaks down as the chick matures and prepares to hatch. The reason that eggs in the US are typically sold under refrigeration is because they are washed with warm water and detergent to remove ...


20

I'll assume that you're talking about pure maple syrup in a glass container; if it's that adulterated pancake syrup then it's probably riddled with preservatives, so any advice here doesn't apply. Pure maple syrup can and will grow mold on the surface if left in a cupboard. There are several reports of this happening, and although several of those people ...


19

This is a myth left over from the days of iceboxes. Go to any official food safety resource online (including USDA, FDA, etc.), and you will find they are all in agreement: it's perfectly safe to put hot food in your refrigerator. In fact, unless you are using some more direct cooling method (like putting your food in an ice bath), waiting to refrigerate ...


15

Living organisms, including plants, are very complicated miniature chemistry factories. Even separated, dead body parts still have chemical processes taking place completely independent from any parasitic organisms (bacteria, molds) present. But of course, lots of the processes which take place in the living plant don't take place any longer, and their ...


15

Based on the guidance my friendly local health department has given me, you need to get things to the right temperature as fast as possible to minimize bacterial growth, generally within four hours after it has been out, for "potentially hazardous food." This means that you need to figure out a strategy to chill food within that timeframe. Items that are ...


14

Ripening of the avocado is slowed down greatly by refrigeration, so it is usually a good idea to let the avocado ripen fully at room temperature. Once it is ripe, it can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week. This way, it is ready to use whenever you want it. Fortunately, there is a day or two when the avocado is ripe, but not too ripe, so if you ...


14

The crisper provides a somewhat enclosed environment, which prevents moisture from escaping as rapidly. Vegetables keep best at a certain humidity, higher than that typically found in the rest of the fridge, but not so high that condensation starts accumulating on them. Vegetables kept in too-dry air in the rest of the fridge will tend to dry out and shrivel ...


13

I regularly store chopped onion in my refrigerator (or at least halves & quarters). I either use tight-sealing plastic containers or zip-top bags. You may want to double-bag in zip-tops to be sure to avoid a smell. One problem you may be having is onion-ness getting on the outside of the container. Be sure the outside is all clean and dry - no point ...


13

The rest period hydrates the starches in flour, giving the dough a firmer and more workable texture (there is some very minor gluten development, but its mostly the expansion of the starch bundles with water). In many cookies, the flavors will also mature and improve, especially with cocoa in the recipe. In many recipes, the cooling from refrigeration is ...


12

Sure, it's safe - it's certainly much safer than leaving it out all day. However, you have to be careful as rice can grow mold and bacteria very quickly. I'd say it has a max of about 3 days in the fridge. However, I recommend freezing leftover cooked rice (separated into single-serving portions). Then just put it in the microwave for a few minutes when you ...


11

http://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17887 is as good advice as any I'd give. In my experience, it gets some slimy mold stuff on it. If it feels slimy, its probably not good to eat, although the mold might taste delicious, you never know...


11

In Israel each egg has two expiration dates printed on it - with and without refrigeration, with about a month apart between them (in favor of refrigerated eggs, of course). I guess climate plays a big part here - in a warm country it never even occurred to me to keep eggs out of the fridge.


11

One thing still hasn't been mentioned here, and I think it's one of the most important points: If you need to cool a very large quantity of a very hot food - for example, a fresh pot of stock - then putting it straight into the refrigerator is akin to leaving the refrigerator door open for an extended period of time. It will cause the motor to run ...


11

The fridge itself does storing, cooling, and dehydrating. But the last part is rather slow, you don't see the effect all that much. It is more prominent at low temperatures (manifests as freezer burn). But try leaving unwrapped bacon slices in the regular fridge and you'll see what I mean. But anyway, it isn't all that interesting what the fridge does, ...


11

Its called chocolate blooming. There are two types: Fat blooming - cause is not known for certain, but probably the type VI chocolate crystals are more thermodynamically favored, so spontaneous conversion (and exit from the surface of the solid solution constituting the chocolate body) may be possible. Sugar blooming - the sugar in the chocolate is ...


10

Anything can spoil eventually, refrigerated or not. Keeping something under a lid and refrigerated restricts the number of airborne colonizers that might get access to it, and the cold temperature means that even if they get there, they will grow much slower than at room temperature. For something to spoil, it needs to be colonized by bacteria or fungus ...


10

I'm sure that most of us have, at one point, left some smelly food in the fridge (fish, onions, etc.) and later found that other foods have picked up the odour. Given that, it's a pretty safe bet to say that if some contaminant becomes airborne, it's definitely possible for it to come into contact with other food. So the question then becomes whether or not ...


10

[Edited] I think 10 hours would be safe enough for most food: the first couple of hours the fridge will still be quite cold, and after that it takes more than a few ours for most food to spoil. When I leave milk out of the fridge for three hours at room temperature (say, 20 °C), nothing happens. I do this often. And the temperature inside the fridge will ...


10

Refrigerating accomplishes several things: It is the right temperature to get the intended flavor. Flavors change with temperature, and some dishes get the correct taste when cold. Flavors get to blend more. Aromatic spices sometimes take time to soak into the sauce, and liquids absorb into the potatoes more Cold is an easy way to prevent spoilage. ...


9

I read somewhere, that eggs have a protective layer on the eggshell (smiliar to the acid mantle on the human skin) which keeps bacteria like salmonella out. When the eggs are stored in the fridge this mantle is destroyed. If this happens the eggs have to stay in the fridge because salmonella multiply less in the cold. That means, when the store you buy the ...


9

The USDA says refrigeration temperature should be 40°F (4.4°C) or below. If food is in there at a higher temperature (such as the 43-45°F the question mentions), for longer than 2 hours, and they're saying the food isn't safe. Keep in mind that when too cold, after a while parts of things freeze, which can damage items, or severely diminish their pleasant ...


8

Earlier in life, I had the personal experience of cooking up a large batch (2 catering pans) of chicken and pasta in a cream sauce for a party. Once it was done, I put it into the basement fridge to cool overnight and keep until the party. Turns out that the fridge took so long to cool it down that the cream sauce went bad by the late morning. Not just "a ...


8

Depends on how many solids and how much water you have in it. If you've rendered, filtered, and refined it, it should last a few weeks easy. Note: my mother maintained it never EVER went bad, refrigerated or not. Lot of old time southern cooks will say the same, but they all go through it fast.


7

I assume that the section of the USDA article you're referring to is this: Partial Cooking Never brown or partially cook beef to refrigerate and finish cooking later because any bacteria present wouldn't have been destroyed. It is safe to partially pre-cook or microwave beef immediately before transferring it to the hot grill to finish cooking. ...



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