It’s been less than a week since your last trip to the grocery store and somehow everything you purchased is starting to go bad. Often, the lifespan of food has little to do with the product itself. If stored improperly, most foods are likely to start going bad making them a health hazard and a wasted expense. To give your food a better chance at lasting longer, there are some helpful storage tips you could try and we are bringing them to you.
If you’re a fan of salads you most definitely know that the crunchier the greens the better. Often, leafy greens tend to become limp and soggy, ruining your chance at making the perfect salad. Moisture in the fridge is what causes most fruits and veggies to lose their crisp texture and start to soften and go bad. To lengthen the shelf life of leafy greens as well as other produce in your fridge, line the drawer with paper towels. You’ll be absorbing excess moisture and keeping fresh produce crunchy for an extended period of time.
This fruit is one of many that contain a gas that causes it to ripen quickly. This gas is emitted from the top of the banana which is called the stem. If you are not going to be eating the bunch within a few days, simply wrap the top part of the banana tightly in a plastic wrap. This will reduce the amount of gas emitted, slowing the ripening process and keeping the fruit fresh for a longer period of time. Because of this same gas, bananas tend to ripen other fruits within their proximity quicker so do well to separate them from the rest of your fruit.
Potatoes are great to have in your kitchen because they can be enjoyed as fries, mashed potatoes or hash browns. However, the problem with storing potatoes is that potatoes stored for an extended period of time begin to sprout. To prevent this from happening, keep your spuds in a cool, dry place, as sunlight and moisture encourage sprouting. Another trick is to throw an apple in with the potatoes, this is known to delay the sprouting of potatoes, adding weeks to their shelf life.
Milk and cheeses should be transferred to the refrigerator immediately after purchase. Milk, yogurt and semi-hard cheeses can last for up to three months in the freezer. When freezing, place these items in separate air-tight containers, leaving one inch of space for expansion once frozen. This helps keep them as fresh as they were when you purchased them. Do note that Buttermilk, soft cheeses and eggs should never be frozen. You can only refrigerate.
Storing meat at a higher temperature can lead to foodborne illness. When transferring meat from the grocery to store to your house, be mindful of how long you spend on the road. Leaving meat in the car or on the counter for prolonged periods is harmful and can cause it to go bad quickly.
When freezing meats, make sure to use a sealing bag or container to avoid freezer burn and contamination. Most importantly, store raw meat separately, away from other foods that could be contaminated. Last but not least, if frozen meat has been thawed, it cannot be re-frozen, steam it and keep in the fridge or use right away.
Leftovers and Meals
Stews, soups and other freshly made dishes should be refrigerated in an airtight container or bag soon after being prepared. Do not transfer hot food directly to the refrigerator as this increases the chance of food borne illness. Instead, place in an open container or bag, wait for the food to cool to room temperature, then cover and store. Label all containers with the date they were put in the refrigerator. In dealing with leftovers, make sure to transfer into a container with a clean spoon and avoid contact with hands. On average, leftovers usually have up to four days before they start to go bad so make sure to finish them off quickly before this happens.
You spend a lot of money on food and groceries each week so it is only fair that you get the best out of them. With these quick tips, you will be able to enjoy your food because they will last longer and be in prime condition. Just go ahead and give these tips a try.
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