When you’ve got your shopping home, pack chilled and frozen products into your refrigerator or freezer immediately.

If you receive home food deliveries make sure you are there to receive them and you put chilled and frozen products straight into the refrigerator or freezer. Alternatively arrange for these foods to be placed in a cooler with ice bricks in a shaded place that will keep your delivered food chilled until you arrive home.

If you get home and then find some evidence of tampering or package damage that you didn’t notice when buying it or expect for online purchases, return the product to the store or call the manufacturer.

Check labels for specific storage conditions to ensure safety and quality. Don’t assume that you know how to store food as recipes change and modern food products like jams or sauces may have less salt or sugar than in the past and may need refrigeration.

Watch this short video about ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates

For more advice on how long food will last in your pantry fridge or freezer see:

CSIRO Storage life of foods

Food Standards Australia New Zealand Canned food