How to Cool Down Food Safely

We often prepare food to store it in the fridge or freezer. Here is some advice to cool off your food in the best way.


Avoid putting hot or warm foods in your freezer. These can warm any food that is already stored there and encourage the growth of bateria which can result in food poisoning.

Ideally, food to be stored in the fridge or freezer should be cooled to 10ºC or less within 90 minutes.  Do not leave warm food sitting about at room temperature because of the danger posed by food poisoning bacteria.

Food can be cooled quickly in a variety of ways, such as:

  1. Placing it in a shallow covered dish.  Then put this in a cool place.
  2. Foods such as cooked pasta, soups and sauces can be put in a food quality polythene bag.  Do not use bin liners, even if they are white. Place the sealed bag in a bowl of cold water.   Adding some ice to the cold water to speed up the process.  Change the water when it gets warm.
  3. Dividing the food into individual portions.   Ensure these portions are covered or wrapped.  These will cool much quicker than a large mass of food.

When the food is cool enough to be put into your fridge or freezer, wrap it thoroughly if it is not wrapped already.

Add a label with contents and date.

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