Some types of fresh, Asian-style noodles can cause serious illness if they are not kept refrigerated from the time they are manufactured right through to the time they are prepared for eating.
Bacteria can grow and quickly reach levels where they cause food poisoning because fresh noodles have a high water activity level and a near neutral pH.
Keep fresh noodles refrigerated
Keep your fresh noodles in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
Don’t leave noodles on the kitchen bench to soften as this could allow growth of food poisoning bugs.
Softening fresh noodles
Typically, fresh noodles harden when refrigerated. This doesn’t mean the noodles aren’t fresh.
The ‘use-by’ or ‘best before’ date, production date (if one is included by the manufacturer) and storage and cooking instructions on the packaging should provide information about whether the noodles are fresh and need to be stored cold.
Noodles will soften once they are reheated. The packaging may provide instructions on how to do this. Generally they can be softened by placing them in a bowl and covering them with boiling water. Use a fork to gently loosen the noodles and separate them.
Not all fresh noodles need refrigeration
Some types of fresh noodles have been specially treated and vacuum packaged so they can be stored on the shelf and out of the fridge.
Remember to check and follow the storage instructions and note any ‘best before’ dates.
Food retailers must only sell safe food
Retailers who store fresh noodles in the fridge are helping to minimise the risk to consumers.
Fresh noodle products that are spoiled may not look spoiled, so they must be refrigerated at all times to minimise the risk of causing food poisoning.