Don’t you just hate it when you store foodstuffs only to find them spoiled the following day? Fortunately, there are many ways you can store your food appropriately to save its quality for a long time by learning some of the best storing techniques. And remember, each class of foodstuffs like fruits and vegetables has its ways of storage.
So, let’s take a closer look at some of the ways of storing food properly to save its quality for a long time.
Fruit & Vegetables
Note that you can’t store all the veggies in the same way. Some need to be refrigerated to keep them fresh for an extended period while others cannot be refrigerated. In this case, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and lettuce can only retain their freshness by first washing and covering them with a paper towel. After some time storing them in paper towel, you then put them in a sealed container and finally refrigerate.
For asparagus, you must put them in a jar of cold water and then in the fridge to make them more convenient to eat later. You don’t store other veggies like yams, potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes and garlic in a freezer. Instead, you must ensure that the cupboard you store them is in a dark, cold, and dry place to keep them fresh. Also, tomatoes can only be refrigerated when ripe to ensure they retain their taste.
To ensure that your fruit remain tasty and fresh, keep the following techniques in mind before storing them.
When buying fresh fruits like grapes, cherries, oranges, and apples, ensure that they’re well packaged. Note that for them to stay fresh as well as safe for consumption, they must be stored in a freezer in their original packaging. You can also put them in a clean plastic container with some tiny openings. Otherwise, their taste and color might change after a few days.
However, fruits like bananas, papayas, mangoes, and avocados must ripen first before putting them in a fridge. Nevertheless, never store all the fruits together. Ensure you separate them as fruits like apples can make them ripen faster, thus spoiling them.
All animal products should always be stored in a fridge to ensure they stay safe for consumption. According to the National Health Service (NHS), all animal products labeled ‘Keep Refrigerated’ must always be kept in the freezer to ensure they are free from germs. Examples of these foods include milk, poultry, fish, and beef. Storing these products correctly in the freezer is important as it helps prevent them from poisoning by the spread of germs.
However, you must always keep them in sealed containers before refrigerating them. Remember to separate cooked animal products from uncooked by storing raw meat and poultry below the cooked ones. Don’t forget to ensure the temperature in the fridge is constant.
Cooked and Processed foodstuffs
All cooked meals and processed products like yoghurt, honey, and cheese must be stored appropriately in the fridge to avoid the spread of germs and other foodborne diseases. Food safety experts always encourage people to cover cooked food when storing to ensure it stays fresh and safe for consumption. Remember that when keeping this cooked food in the fridge, there are other raw foodstuffs in the freezer which contain germs.
These germs may spread in the uncovered cooked meals causing foodborne diseases. Dr Bibek Ray, a PhD. Food Science holder, says that Uncovered refrigerated foods cause dangerous foodborne diseases as they’re contaminated from both cross-contamination and from the air circulation. Consuming these contaminated foods can cause stomachaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
Storing foodstuffs at correct temperatures
According to Pediatric Child Health (PMC), the quality of food goes down if not stored under the right temperatures. In fact, keeping meals under high temperature can cause food poisoning.
According to health experts, the preferred temperature for cold foodstuffs is 40 Fahrenheit and 140 Fahrenheit for hot meals. Health professionals advise people to ensure they store foodstuffs at the right temperature since the wrong temperature increases the risks of food contamination.
Importance of storing food properly
Storing food appropriately ensures that the food retains its quality for a long time. Note that the only meal that is safe for consumption is the one which has high quality standards.
Also, when food is kept correctly, it has no chances to be contaminated with germs. Note that these germs may spread quickly if the stored food isn’t covered, or when the food is refrigerated in the wrong temperatures. Consuming this contaminated food can lead to dangerous food-borne illnesses.
And remember, food-borne illnesses like listeriosis can cause death especially to children and adults with weak immunity. It’s, therefore, essential to consume good quality food.
As seen earlier, it’s important to store food properly if you want to retain its healthy properties for a long period. You must always wash vegetables first and put them in a sealed container before storing them in a fridge. For fruit, ensure you separate them when storing in the freezer so that they stay fresh for long. Also, cover cooked food before refrigerating them to avoid contamination from the germs in raw foodstuffs.