Being aware of how to store your food (including leftovers) safely can make a big difference to your health, and the health of your family. It’s essential that certain foods are kept in specific places, for example, and that others are used quickly and then disposed of safely if there is anything left over. This guide should help you understand how to store food safely and keep everyone fit and healthy.
Some food will need to be kept in your refrigerator. The cold atmosphere of the fridge slows down the growth of bacteria and germs and therefore keeps food fresher and edible, as well as making it safer, for longer. Check the labelling and packaging of each product that you buy. If the item needs to be kept in the fridge, then it should say ‘keep refrigerated’ or similar on the packet. It will also have a use by date written on the label. A good rule of thumb is to note whether the food came from a refrigerator in the store; if so, then it should also be kept in yours once you get it home.
Leftovers should also be refrigerated. They need to be cooled as quickly as possible, room temperature is safe for this, before being stored in the fridge where they should be consumed within two days. You can place the food in one of Save It Fresh’s vacuum sealer bags to keep it for even longer. Make sure your refrigerator is kept at 5oC or below, and clean it out regularly to stop bacteria from spreading.
When it comes to freezing food, you can freeze almost anything including milk, cheese, meat, bread, eggs, baked goods, fish, and much more. You can freeze food with high water content, such as tomatoes or strawberries, but beware that they will become soft. They are still fine to eat and cook with, though. Freezing food is a great way to ensure that you waste as little as possible, although you should never freeze food that is already past its use by date. If you are freezing food, you should place it in an airtight container or a vacuum sealed bag to protect it and the other items in your freezer.
Use By Dates
Use by dates is a useful indication of how long an item of food will stay fresh. Some foods will have a ‘use by’ date wrote on them, and others will have a ‘best before’ date. These are two different things. The use by date is found on the freshest food, the product that will go bad more quickly than other items. It can be dangerous to eat food that has gone beyond its use by date.
Many people think that just because food smells fine and tastes normal, it’s okay to eat it past its use by date. However, even if it doesn’t seem ‘off’ it can still contain high levels of bacteria, which can make you ill, so keeping the use by dates in mind is a good idea. Best before dates are found on foods with a longer life. It is okay to eat food that goes beyond this date, but it may not taste as good as it should – it was best before the date written on it passed.