As you already know, perishable foods can be a bit tricky for storing. They spoil quickly and need to be stored properly in order to stay fresh and keep germs from multiplying. Eggs, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, and seafood are the most typical perishable foods. The problem is that we tend to waste perishable foods a lot because they go bad before we eat them. And that is a waste we would all like to avoid. Let’s find out how to store perishable foods so they stay safe to eat, and minimize food waste.
Get to know high-risk foods
Food-poisoning bacteria could be very unpleasant and dangerous. It grows and multiplies on some types of food more easily than others. For this reason, perishable foods are forbidden in storage facilities. Furthermore, let’s learn which are these foods, so we can pay special attention to storing them.
- Custard, cheesecake and other dairy-based desserts and products.
- Both raw and cooked meat, including poultry such as chicken and turkey. This includes foods containing them, such as casseroles, curries, and lasagne and smallgoods such as hams and salamis.
- Eggs and egg products can be very dangerous once they spoil. Pay attention to the meals and products with eggs such as mousse and other desserts.
- Seafood spoils easily as well, such as seafood salad, patties, fish balls, stews containing seafood and fish stock.
- Rice and pasta maybe seem like they are always safe to eat, be careful. Prepared salads like coleslaws, pasta salads, rice salads, and even fruit salads are high-risk foods.
- Food that comes in cans and jars are harder to spoil, true. But they can also become high-risk foods once opened and should be handled and stored correctly.
How to store perishable food safely in the fridge?
The best place to store perishable food is obviously the refrigerator. The temperature should be between 32°F – 40°F. Almost every refrigerator has a thermometer, so you can check the temperature easily. Most importantly, keep your fridge clean and cold in order to prevent moisture and to properly store perishable food. Also, evenly space the contents so air can move around easily. Arrange it so that ready to eat foods are at the top. Foods that might contaminate other foods, such as raw meat, poultry, or seafood should stay at the bottom. You can place condiments on the door shelves since this is the warmest part of the fridge.
Some people do the same with milk and eggs, which is not a good decision. The manufacturers did make a nice egg-holding shelf on the door, so no one can blame you for making this mistake. To resume, although there’s a spot for them in the door, keep milk and eggs inside the main part of the fridge where the temperatures are cooler.
Choose the right food containers
As wise people say, our body is our temple. Furthermore, we need to be careful about what are we bringing into our temple. And in order to store perishable food properly, we need to purchase the right food containers.
- You should use only food-grade containers for storing food. They are manufactured especially to hold food, like Ziploc bags or amazing Tupperware containers.
- Avoid using non-food grade containers like plastic or paper shopping bags or plastic trash bags to store food. They have chemicals and dyes that can leach into the food and contaminate it.
- Re-using food containers that are hard to clean is also a very bad idea. Plastic water bottles and yogurt containers are good examples of fo that and they can easily contaminate the food.
- Additionally, styrofoam trays or take-out containers should not be reused. This includes plastic containers from sour cream, cottage cheese, chip dip, margarine, and milk. Generally, avoid re-using items that should be single-use items, there is a reason for that.
- Be very careful when choosing containers for reheating. Using the wrong type of container when heating food in a microwave can transfer harmful chemicals into the food.
- Purchase glass or microwave-safe plastic containers, or white paper plates specialized for microwave heating. Do not put plastic food containers from margarine, cottage cheese, or similar foods in a microwave.
Perishable food and moving
If you are moving house, make sure to use all your perishable food before the moving day. Professional movers Ontario will probably not move high-risk food. And even if they accept to do it, why would you increase the total weight of your household, by transferring the foods that will most likely spoil on the way to your new home.
If your moving day is soon, and you cannot eat all the perishable foods, there is something you can do. Make a farewell party and use all the perishable foods to make a meal for your guests. And if anything remains, you can also make some snacks for Dundas movers. That can be a way to give them a treat for a job well done.
Freeze perishable food safely
When you go grocery shopping, buy chilled and frozen foods at the end and take them home to as quickly as possible. If your grocery store is a long drive away or if the day is very hot you can take an insulated cooler bag or icepack to keep frozen foods cold. Also, keep hot and cold foods separate while you take them home. Once you arrive home, put frozen foods into the fridge or freezer immediately.
Store cooked food safely
When you have cooked food and want to cool it, you should do it properly. Place a hot food into shallow dishes or smaller portions to help cool the food as quickly as possible. Don’t put it into the refrigerator until it cools down. Wait at least until steam has stopped rising from the food before putting it in the fridge. If you store cooked perishable food properly, there will be no food waste whatsoever.