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Food safety and hygiene guidance for food banks and charities

Storing and freezing food safely

Guidance on storing food to keep it safe to eat.

Storing food

Avoid cross-contamination by storing individual foods in, clean, sealed containers. This stops objects, bacteria and chemicals getting in the food. 

Follow packet instructions on how to store a food, such as in a fridge or freezer. 

Ensure your fridges and freezers are set to the recommended temperatures. Fridges and chilled display equipment should be set at 8˚C or below as a legal requirement. A freezer should be -18°C.

Freezing food to extend life

You can extend the life of ambient or chilled foods by freezing them, if the food is suitable for freezing.

Food must be frozen before midnight on the use-by date and re-labelled correctly, following our guidance on bulk freezing of ambient and chilled foods.

WRAP's labelling guidance for food redistribution may also help.

Frozen food should be defrosted thoroughly in the fridge. The time this takes depends on the food itself.  Once food is defrosted, it should be used within 24 hours.

Follow further guidance on chilling food correctly and transporting frozen food safely, if required.