It is very important to store meat, dairy and eggs properly because those products if spoiled can cause a lot of serious health problems. Improper storage causes bacteria growth in them and that can lead to quite dangerous food borne diseases. Be sure to follow the proper guidelines in storing these products.
~ Meats. ~
Fresh meat needs to go in the refrigerator as soon as possible. The best temperature to keep meat is from 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature goes higher it will cause the meat to spoil. You should always buy meat at the very end of your shopping trip in order to keep time outside the refrigerator to a minimum. Keep meat in the original packaging and use it no later that in 2 days.
Cooked meat needs to be cooled fast because the temperatures between 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit are the most beneficial for bacteria growth but don't put cooked meat in the refrigerator if it is still warm because the rapid cooling will cause condensation thus increasing moisture content (very inviting for bacteria) and increase temperature in the refrigerator compromising the rest of products.As soon as meat is cooled it should be wrapped and put in the refrigerator. Cooked meats should be consumed no later that in a week after being cooked.
Meat can be frozen and stored for up to several months in the frozen form. If you buy big packages of frozen meat such as chicken breasts and legs, re-package them in smaller freezer bags in the amount you usually cook. Put the date on the bags. Always thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator or in the microwave but not on the top of the counter top overnight.
~ Dairy. ~
Dairy products need to be refrigerated at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If your milk and yogurt spend more than two hours outside the fridge they need to be thrown away. Though pasteurization usually kills the majority of bacteria but it is still possible to get food poisoning from dairy products.
If your soft cheeses (cream cheese, Brie, chevre, cottage cheese) develop any kind of mold discard the whole thing. With hard cheeses you can cut the molded part out if it is not too big otherwise get rid of it.
You can freeze your milk for up to three months and use it afterwards. Though it will not be recommended for drinking since the texture will be different you can still use it for cooking. Be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator.
~ Eggs. ~
When dealing with eggs you need to remember that they can have salmonella on their surface so never put raw eggs near any other food. Eggs should be stored in the refrigerator at the temperature no higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea of putting them on the fridge door is not a very good idea because when the door is opened the temperature can change dramatically.
To store egg whites or yolks you need to put them in the closed containers (cover yolks with water to prevent drying) and put them in the refrigerator. They can be stored for up to four days.
Be sure to check expiration dates on the products you buy. Sometimes you can buy discounted meats, cheeses and even milk. Be sure to either cook or freeze meats right away and consume cheeses and milk before the expiration date.