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Always use airtight containers to seal your food in. This prevents outside elements from getting into the food and contaminating it. For foods you plan to freeze, airtight containers help prevent freezer burn.
Never store raw foods near ready-to-eat foods. Raw foods, especially meat, can have bacteria present until after the food is cooked. Leaving raw foods next to other food items can allow the transfer of this bacteria.
Never store foods directly on the floor, even when they are packaged securely. Foods on the floor can attract bugs and mice. Also avoid storing foods close to cleaning products and other chemicals. Choose a cool, dry location that isn't directly in sunlight to help keep foods and their containers fresh.
Always follow the storage instructions on food products. If a label says to refrigerate after opening, put the product in the refrigerator immediately. If a product suggests use within a specified amount of time, follow those guidelines. When storing foods in plastic containers in the refrigerator, use plastic specifically made for storing foods; other plastics may not be safe. Always avoid storing foods in metal (especially tin) containers.