Refrigeration slows bacterial growth. Bacteria exist everywhere in nature. They are in the soil, air, water, and the foods we eat. When they have nutrients (food), moisture, and favorable temperatures, they grow rapidly, increasing in numbers to the point where some types of bacteria can cause illness. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 °F, the “Danger Zone,” some doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. A refrigerator set at 40 °F or below will protect most foods.
Stay out of the "Danger Zone" in your refrigerator!
When it comes to meal preparation and storage (Leftovers), knowing how refrigeration affects different types of foods can save you from making yourself or, even worse, someone else painfully sick.
Here are the refrigeration times for some of the most common CaringMeals:
- Opened Luncheon Meats: 3-5 days
- Ground Meats: 1-2 days
- Chicken: 1-2 days
(be careful with chicken and ground meat!)
For an in-depth explanation of this topic, the USDA has provided a complete guide to food safety:
Their Food Safety home page is:
You can even call them at 1-888-MPHotline! Your tax dollars at work!