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pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
I'm not sure what exactly the question is but prepared foods, if they are intended to be held for awhile should be tightly sealed and refrigerated at 40 degrees F. What I do is to label the container using waterproof tape (first aid department)with the date the food was prepared.
Pierino is 100 percent correct, as usual. The quicker food cools down, the better to avoid bacteria from using it as a breeding ground. But, if you put it straightaway in the fridge you run the risk of having the food around it in the fridge warm up to an unsafe level. Cooling off tightly sealed foods in an ice bath is one way around this.
When putting warm food in the refrigerator leave the lid ajar for the first few hours or until you return home. A tightly covered container will not be able to release the heat and will take longer to cool down.
Putting "warm" food in the fridge being the best answer goes to show that most people that are voting have been using this method for years. A previous answer that stated putting warm or hot food in the fridge would bring other food to an unsafe temp creating a breeding ground for bacteria. The proper way, as stayed before, is to bring the temp down in an ice bath prior to placing in the refrigerator. This is the method that is REQUIRED by the NFS In restaurants to keep the public safe.
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