Proper commercial food storage requires knowledge of the difference between food quality and food safety . A low-quality food like an overripe piece of fruit can still be safe to eat, while a high-quality food such as a piece of cooked, Grade A meat may be unsafe because it has touched a plate with a high bacteria count on it. Many factors make up a food's quality level: the standard its raw state, its processing methods, its storage, and the length of storage. Bacteria can enter food through negligent food handling. Be sure to keep your hands as well as anything the food touches clean—from counters to storage receptacles.