Learn About Storage

Proper storage of ingredients and baked goods is essential to keeping food fresh and tasty and not risking foodborne illnesses. Below you’ll find the USDA guidelines on how to keep food fresh and safe, and when ingredients or foods should be discarded.

Each and every CraftyBaking recipe indicates proper storage guidelines to keep your baked goods at their best.

If you ever have a question, come talk to us and other members in the CraftyBaking Community. We would love to help!

FOOD SAFETY SUMMARY / USDA: Everything you want to know about food safety
Stored food slowly deteriorates, making it vulnerable to microbial contamination. The two main risk factors to causing foodborne illnesses are:

  1. Temperature, and,
  2. Time or the amount of time the food stays within a certain temperature. 

Foods should be stored under these conditions:

  1. Refrigerator: 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) or below
  2. Freezer: below 0 degrees F ( - 18 degrees C)
  3. Room Temperature (Dry storage): 60 to 70 degrees F (15 to 21 degrees C) Canned goods
  4. Room Temperature (Dry storage): 50 to 70 degrees F (10 to 21 degrees C) Root vegetables (potatoes, onions), whole citrus, eggplant

General rules: 

  1. Keep everything clean -- hands, utensils, counters, cutting boards and sinks.  
  2. Always wash hands thoroughly in hot soapy water before preparing foods and after handling raw meat, poultry or seafood.  
  3. Don't let raw juices from meat, poultry or seafood touch ready-to-eat foods either in the refrigerator or during preparation


The USDA suggests storing cold foods at 40 degrees F or below and hot foods at 140 degrees F or above 
Between 40 degrees and 140 degrees F, is considered the temperature danger zone, especially between 60 to 140 degrees F, where there is a rapid growth of bacteria and the production of toxins.

Degrees F
 TYPE240 - 250CanningLow-acid foods (vegetables, meat, poultry in pressure canner)212 - 240CanningHigh-acid foods (fruits, tomatoes, pickles in water-bath container)165 - 212CookingCooking temperatures destroy most bacteria, but minimum internal temperatures (for 15 seconds) must be met in order to comply. Each food product has its own internal temperature requirement according to the FDA, USDA and individual state (health department).

Water boils at 212 degrees F. Generally, bacteria die when exposed to at least 10 minutes of boiling. However, not all foods can be boiled. 140 - 165Store hot foods at 140 degrees F or aboveWarm temperature prevents growth, but some survival of bacteria40 - 140Room temperature and above

Rapid growth of bacteria and production of toxins (60 - 140 degrees F); Some growth of bacteria (40 to 60 degrees F)

NOTE: Any PERISHABLE food exposed for more than TWO hours of time, actual or cumulative*, should be DISCARDED.
*Cumulative time includes all the time from the store to your fridge or freezer, the time the food is in the kitchen being prepared, the time the food is being plated, served or on display, etc. 

32 - 40Refrigerator (40 degrees F or below)

Store cold foods at 40 degrees F or belowSlows growth of some bacteria

Water freezes at 32 degrees F0 Freezer Stops growth, but bacteria survive

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