Category Archives: Storage

Storing Foods Outside

Q:  At a church where I work part-time, people make sack lunches to feed the homeless. When they think it is cold enough, they put the sandwiches in an elevator that is on the outside of the building, and is not heated. A few times I have been concerned that it was not cold enough to be refrigerating the food this way.  At what temperature can you safely refrigerate food outside?

A: The internal temperature of the food should be at 41 degrees F or lower, to be safe from bacteria growth.

Freezing foods

Q: Does freezing kill bacteria in foods?

A. No, freezing foods only makes the bacteria in them hibernate, or basically go to sleep. They will not die, but they will not grow as long as they are frozen. Once you take them out of the refrigerator, though, and start to defrost the foods, the bacteria wake up and start growing again. As long the foods are frozen, bacteria will not grow, but do not die either.