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Why you should never put hot food in your fridge | Cooking & Eating

Cooking & EatingSometimes that pan of soup or stew doesn’t quite go up. So put the pan or a container in the fridge so that you have a tasty lunch or dinner the next day. If you do that, the food must first cool down. Two food safety experts give tips.




Hot food in the fridge, is that bad?
Marcel Zwietering, professor of food microbiology at Wageningen University, explains that it mainly comes down to the temperature of the refrigerator. “The most important thing is that the refrigerator must remain cold. If you put hot food in the fridge, the entire fridge will increase in heat. The other food in the fridge also heats up.”

Wieke van der Vossen, food safety expert at the Nutrition Center, says it also has to do with condensation. “Warm food also evaporates, which causes condensation to form in the refrigerator.”


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Some bacteria, such as salmonella and listeria, are undetectable

Marcel Zwietering, professor of food microbiology at Wageningen University

Is the rest of your food no longer safe?
According to Van der Vossen you have to think logically yourself; “You can see, smell or taste many products that they are no longer good. But it is not detectable in some bacteria, such as salmonella and listeria. So keep a close eye on when you put fresh things in the fridge, in general you are fine with a maximum of two days after preparation.”

Zwietering also mentions that the risk of spoilage depends on each article. “As with many things in life, there are risks. It’s not that if you put a hot pot of soup in your fridge, all the food in the fridge can make you sick.”

To how many degrees should your food be cooled?
“We actually recommend that it be cooled down to around room temperature.” With large amounts of hot food, this can take a while. “What you can do is put your pan in a tub of cold water,” says Van der Vossen. Zwietering gives the tip to put your food in the cellar for a while, or if it is cold outside to speed up the process a bit. “Then you have to cover it well. Cooling down is also much faster in smaller portions.”


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When the food is still warm, a lot of vapor is released. If you don’t cover the container with food, the product will dry out and that’s a shame

Marcel Zwietering, professor of food microbiology at Wageningen University

Why do you always have to cover food?
Zwietering: ,,One of the reasons you should always cover your food is because bacteria are everywhere in the fridge. Different products can contaminate each other. By covering your food you ensure that bacteria cannot jump over each other.”

Condensation droplets can also fall into the product. And your food can dry out, says Zwietering. ,,When the food is still warm, a lot of vapor is released. If you don’t cover the container with food, the product will dry out and that’s a shame.”

What is the best temperature for your refrigerator?
Zwietering: ,,It is best to set the refrigerator at 4 degrees Celsius. 7 degrees is often mentioned as an example, but that is the maximum temperature. It is not equally warm in all places, also because warm air rises. In addition, the refrigerator door sometimes opens and closes. If you lower the temperature, it can sometimes freeze in places.”

What about hot food that you want to keep in the freezer?
According to Vossen, the freezer is much less risky. ,,A separate freezer is when it does well around -18 degrees Celsius. In general, this is a lot safer, because there is no bacterial growth at such a low temperature.”

“Still the advice not to use hot things here either, if only for sustainability. It then takes a lot of energy to keep the device cool,” says Zwietering.

Need more tricks for the kitchen? Watch the videos below:


Why you should never put hot food in your fridge | Cooking & Eating
Source link Why you should never put hot food in your fridge | Cooking & Eating

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