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Can You Put Hot Food in The Fridge?

Food Safety -

Whether it's leftovers, your meal prep for the week, or a fresh batch of bacon jam, should you put hot food in the fridge? Shirley, our resident Food Safety Officer, is here to answer your question...

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bowl of piping hot soup on a table

We get asked this question a lot in relation to meal prep, but even more so around Christmas when customers are worrying about leftovers. I know myself that my eyes are often too big for my belly during the holidays, and if you've ever been to a butchers house for Christmas you'll know what an abundance of leftovers looks like. Having said that, we all love leftovers, don't we? Especially a roast dinner sandwich! Anyway, whether it's leftovers, your weekly meal prep, or even a fresh batch of bacon jam, here's some simple guidelines to help you store your hot food safely. 

Can you put hot food in the fridge?

The simple answer is no. You shouldn't put hot food straight in to the fridge because:

  1. Hot food will raise the temperature of the fridge and other perishable foods in the fridge will be affected.
  2. Hot food (especially steaming hot) will cause condensation, which can lead to mould growth in your fridge.

How to cool hot food safely?

Hot food should be cooled quickly, and safely, before it is put into the fridge to avoid the potential growth of bacteria. There are several ways to cool hot food without leaving it out too long, including:

  1. Cool hot foods in a bowl of cold water.
  2. Divide hot foods into smaller portions, that will cool quicker.
  3. Cover and place hot foods in a cool area of your kitchen away from direct sunlight and open windows.

Whichever way you choose to cool your hot food, you should always make sure that the food is in the fridge within ninety minutes.


Written by Shirley Rhoades

Shirley Rhoades (ACIEH) is part of the full time True Bites team and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Environment Health, with over 30 years experience in the food industry. She has an (CIEH) Advanced Certificate in Food Hygiene, a (NEBOSH) Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, and is a registered (CIEH) Professional Trainer. She is also a passionate cook and baker in her spare time and is renowned for her huge collection of cook books.

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1 comment

Thanks for the information you have been very helpful


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