Food Safety

Best Before vs Use By

  • ‘Use By’ date – it is unsafe to eat food after this date
  • Best Before – after this date the food should be safe to eat but will not be the same quality

Wash your hands

  • before cooking
  • before and after handling raw food
  • after using the toilet
  • after using the bin

Fruit and vegetables

  • Wash fruit and vegetables under cold running water and peel (if needed) before eating and preparing
  • Never use any soap on fruit or vegetables

Raw meat and fish

  • Store raw meat and fish on the lowest shelf in the fridge
  • Keep raw meat and fish away from other ingredients
  • Use a different chopping board and knife for raw meat
  • You do not need to wash raw chicken before cooking – just make sure it is cooked properly

When cooking meat, make sure it is cooked all the way through

  • Burgers, sausages, pork and chicken should be cooked all the way through. To check if the meat is cooked properly, cut through the middle and make sure it is not pink (rare) and that the juices run clear
  • Joints of meat should be cooked through and not eaten when ‘rare’ or still pink
  • Steak, some cuts of beef, and lamb are safe to eat ‘rare’ when they have been sealed properly (cooked very quickly at a very high temperature)


  • Change dish cloths, tea towels and other cleaning materials often
  • Clean all worktops both before and after cooking

Storing leftover food

  • Always make sure raw and cooked foods are kept separately in the fridge, cooked at the top and raw at the bottom
  • Cool hot food at room temperature for 90 minutes before putting in the fridge
  • Never put hot food straight into the fridge
  • Use leftovers within 2 days
  • Make sure when you re-heat leftovers that they are steaming hot

Re –freezing food

  • If you defrost meat, make sure you cook it first before refreezing it. The rule is that meat must change its state before refreezing.