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The biggest cause of food spoilage is improper storage. It's important to not leave perishable foods out at room temp for too long as this will accelerate the decomposition rate. Let hot foods cool slightly before placing them in the refrigerator as too high temps can cause the overall temp of your refrigerator to decrease, thus potentially putting other foods at risk or at least lower their shelf life (e.g milk). Here's a good article on Food Spoilage on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_spoilage
Hoep that helps!