September is Food Safety Education Month and we’re continuing our special series we hope will help protect yourself and others from getting sick.

Always follow four simple steps to prevent food poisoning: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.

Today, we’re focused on making sure food is refrigerated promptly because bacteria can multiply rapidly if left at room temperature or in the “Danger Zone.”

According to the CDC, it’s always good to keep your refrigerator at 40F or below and your freezer at 9f or below and know when to throw food out before it spoils.

  • Package warm or hot food into several clean shallow containers and then refrigerate.
  • Refrigerate perishable food like meat, seafood, dairy, cut fruit, some vegetables, and cooked leftovers within 2 hours.
  • Thaw frozen food safely in the refrigerator in cold water, or in the microwave only.

Visit the CDC for more information about how to refrigerate food promptly and other food safety resources.