People Are Just Realising This Popular Food Hygiene Rule Is A Complete Lie, And I'm In Shock

My whole life has been a lie...
Catherine McQueen via Getty Images

We’ve already covered the fact that some mouldy cheeses are surprisingly edible (though not the softer ones).

We’ve even shared that you should store your bread differently in a heatwave.

But it wasn’t until I saw Dr. Karan Rajan’s recent TikTok about storing hot food in the fridge that I realised a central tenet of my food hygiene understanding had been completely faulty.

How come?

I had always believed that you should let your food cool completely before putting it in the fridge, as you could warm up other items and increase their risk of becoming bacterial.

But Dr. Rajan Stitched a video of someone’s steaming pot in a fridge and said, “The sooner you get your leftovers in the fridge, the better because it means your food spends less time in the danger zone.”

The “danger zone” in question is the temperature range between 4°C and 60°C, “where bacteria can grow more rapidly.”

So, the doctor says refrigerating it sooner means it spends less time in that germ-loving phase than it would on your countertops.

He adds that “modern refrigerators are pretty well-designed to handle the introduction of hot food without significantly disrupting the internal temperature.”

The Washington Department of Health agrees, saying, “Hot food can be placed in the refrigerator. Large amounts of food should be divided into small portions and put in shallow containers for quicker cooling in the refrigerator.”

They explained: “Perishable foods should be put in a refrigerator... within two hours of preparation. If you leave food out to cool and forget about it after two hours, throw it away.”

If the room is over 32°C, that goes down to one measly hour.

People had *thoughts* in the comments

″[It] just doesn’t sit right with me putting [food] in [the fridge] hot,“one commenter said.

“Huh? I thought it goes bad,” another wrote.

“Sorry, what? My entire life, I thought I had to let something cool down first,” yet another TikTok user opined (I hear you stranger, but the science is against us on this one...).


Hot food in fridge @Barstool Sports

♬ original sound - Dr Karan Raj