Eat fresh food, safe food
- In summers, have freshly made food. Consume food within 2-3 hours of preparation.
- Keep food (when outside the refrigerator) in a cool place and covered
- In summers even if food is kept in the refrigerators (functioning refrigerator) after preparation, consume it within 5-6 hours of preparation.
- Only items which are fried and made in lots of oil / ghee like puris, parathas, pokodas can be kept for 15-20 hours.
- When serving food from the refrigerators or which has been kept for 2-3 hours after cooking, reheat it, preferably bring it to boiling temperature before serving
- In winters food can be kept for 4-5 hours after preparation.
- Keep all food covered (house-flies and spread of contagious diseases is a major problem in India). Don’t consume cooked food on which has been exposed to houseflies.
Keep food at safe temperatures :
- Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than 2 hours
- Refrigerate promptly all cooked and perishable food (preferably below 5°C)
- Keep cooked food piping hot (more than 60°C) prior to serving
- Do not store food too long even in the refrigerator
Most of rural India and a large proportion of urban Indians do not have refrigerators. Even amongst those who have refrigerators they may be having immense power cuts making the refrigerators non-functional for several hours in a day in summer. With soaring temperatures in most part of India (& probably), there are many power cuts (load shedding); so effectively the refrigerator is non functional for many hours in a day.( It will depend immensely on the target population, whether in Delhi or other metropolitan cities of India and also on the socio-economic status of the beneficiary )
Many refrigerators especially the older models of refrigerators which people have, have a freezer compartment but not a deep freeze (enough to make ice but not enough to maintain the consistency of ice-cream.)
Even when there is a supply of power, if the refrigerator is opened often as in many households and shops with the outside temperature soaring, the temperatures inside are not very well maintained.