Can I store raw meat and cooked food together in the refrigerator?

It is not recommended to store raw meat and cooked food together in the refrigerator. Raw meat can contain harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can contaminate cooked food and lead to foodborne illness. In order to prevent cross-contamination, it is important to store raw meat separately from cooked food in the refrigerator.

When storing raw meat in the refrigerator, it is important to keep it in a leak-proof container or on a plate to prevent any juices from contaminating other foods. Raw meat should be stored on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent any drips from contaminating other foods. It is also important to keep raw meat away from ready-to-eat foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to prevent cross-contamination.

Cooked food should be stored in a separate container from raw meat and placed on a different shelf in the refrigerator. Leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking, and should be eaten or discarded within four days. When reheating leftovers, they should be heated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) to kill any harmful bacteria.

If you need to store raw meat and cooked food in the same refrigerator, you can use a separate compartment or drawer for raw meat. Some refrigerators come with a separate drawer specifically designed for storing raw meat. If your refrigerator does not have a separate compartment, you can use a sealed container or ziplock bag to separate the raw meat from other foods.

In summary, it is best to store raw meat and cooked food separately in the refrigerator to prevent cross-contamination and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. If you need to store them in the same refrigerator, use separate containers or a designated compartment for raw meat. Always follow food safety guidelines to ensure that your food stays fresh and safe to eat.