Hello! This is the safefood helpline…

a ringing mobile phone iconFrom time to time we all need a little help with questions that we either don’t know the answer to, or aren’t sure if what we think we know is right. As Albert Einstein once said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning”.

Well that’s where safefood can help you! I get asked all sorts of questions about food safety and nutrition and I’m here to help. So what are the most frequent questions I have been asked during my 10 years on the safefood helpline? When it comes to food safety, we get asked a lot about all things fridges and freezers. Here are some of our top questions:

Where should I store my meat?

Raw meat should always be stored on the lower shelves in your fridge away from any ready to eat or other cooked foods.

What temperature should my fridge be at?

Your fridge should be at a temperature of 0˚C to 5˚C.

What’s the best way to defrost  frozen food?

Unless you have a food that is specifically marked by the manufacturer to cook straight from frozen, then you will need to defrost it in your fridge before you cook it. Just keep in mind that if it’s a joint of meat it will take some time to defrost, about 24 hrs for every 2 – 2.5kg. Also keep in mind if what you are defrosting is raw so store it on the bottom shelf of your fridge.

What do I do if I have a power cut?

Power cuts can be tricky (or as my daughter might say lectrickity!), thankfully, nowadays they’re not as common as they once were but most definitely still happen. The best thing to do is to keep your fridge and freezer doors closed. Once the power is restored, check the items in your freezer and if everything is still rock solid then all is good. If anything has started to defrost or started to go soft, then it’s a good idea to continue defrosting in your fridge and cook it once it’s defrosted. The golden rule is if in doubt, throw it out.

How long can food can be stored in your freezer?

Food can be stored in freezers for quite a while and a lot depends on the type of freezer you have and the star rating it has. It’s a good idea to have a look at your freezer manual for help with this. But if you can’t find the manual, a good rule of thumb is anywhere from 1 to 6 months. I know I have been guilty of having food in my freezer for a while, so I started putting a date sticker on the food when I first put it in the freezer; that way I’m not using something that has been in there almost as long as I’ve been working for safefood!

While these may sound like easy questions to those in the know, you are certainly not alone if you don’t know the answer! 

Just remember, I’m here to help so if you need more advice on these or any other food safety or nutrition topics, give the helpline a call.

Thank you for calling safefood.


Helpline: ROI 1850 404 567, NI 0800 085 1683
Enquiries: info@safefood.eu

Posted: 21/06/2013 09:29:02 by Lillian Murphy
Filed under: Defrosting, FAQs, Freezers, Fridges, Helpline

About Me

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Lillian Murphy
Hi. I'm the Helpline Executive Assistant at safefood. I also assist with campaign planning, media monitoring, recipe analysis and events. I’m a mum of two who keep me busy and on my toes! On my down time I’m either reading a book (most likely when everyone else is asleep) or I can be found at a match cheering on my beloved Cork or my home village. I suppose once a rebel always a rebel!