Best Before vs Use By

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

Wash your hands with warm soapy water

  • 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 covered 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
  • Do not wash raw chicken or meat before cooking – just make sure it is cooked properly

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

  • Burgers, sausages, kebabs, pork, turkey and chicken should be cooked all the way through. To check if the meat is cooked properly, cut through the middle (at the thickest part) and make sure it is not pink (rare) and that the juices run clear
  • Joints of pork, chicken or turkey 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 quickly at room temperature, then place in the fridge within 1 to 2 hours
  • Never put hot food straight into the fridge or freezer
  • Use leftovers within 2 days
  • Make sure when you re-heat leftovers that they are piping hot and steam is rising from it

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.