What is the point of refrigeration: Infectious agents and toxic agent


We know that meat needs to be stored in a cool place and that once opened it needs to be consumed quickly – despite what the packaging may state – especially if the meat in question is either chicken, turkey or swine.

However there are many other foodstuffs that needs proper commercial refrigeraton to extend their shelf life, so that the product reached the consumer in the best possible condition without causing harm. Rice – a staple of many countries around the world – is a prime example. In its dried incarnation – rice can be stored in a kitchen cupboard for years – but once cooked – left-overs should be cooled first before being exposed to any form of refrigeration. And then the rice should only be left for 48 hours before being eaten. It is possible that left over rice – not refrigerated properly. Also care should be taken when eating and afterwards storing fried rice.

Food poisoning generally comes in two forms: infectious agents and toxic agents.

Infectious agents include viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Toxic agents include poisonous mushrooms, badly and inadequately prepared exotic foods (such as barracuda), or pesticides commonly found on fruits and vegetables (this is why you should always wash fruit and vegetables before you eat them – even if you trust the source that it has come from).

Food usually becomes contaminated from poor sanitation or preparation. Badly packaged food stored at the wrong temperature also promotes contamination. Food preparers who do not wash their hands after using the bathroom or have infections themselves often cause contamination. But once a foodstuff has been prepared it should always then be stored using refrigeration methods and not left out for hours on end.

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