Leftover food can be a headache. Throwing it away is an unwanted option, so you’ll need to know how to store your food the right way. Food storage may seem straightforward, and it is. That said, there are details about it that everyone forgets. Here are a few mistakes we make when storing food, and how to go about it the right way.
Why it’s important to store food correctly
Poor food storage can be hazardous. It not only accelerates spoilage but also causes food poisoning. Food bacteria multiply at temperatures between 5 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius. That’s why you shouldn’t leave food out in the open, at room temperature for too long. According to this study, ready-made dough, salads, and meals were the most perishable.
Keep high-risk foods like meat or fish at 5 degrees Celsius or below. You should always store raw foods below cooked ones. We have a few more tips on how to store your foods correctly below.
13 Clever Food Storage Hacks
It’s not impossible to keep your food fresh, and all you have to do is follow these clever storage hacks.
1. Sandwich bag
First of all, store your food in a sandwich bag. Ziploc sandwich bags are available in most supermarkets. Seal your food in these bags. Remember to keep the zipper tip open. The sealed bag keeps your food fresher for longer because it is vacuum-sealed.
2. Water and Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another reliable food storage hack. Add a generous amount of it to a bowl of water. Dip your strawberries and blueberries in them quickly and store them in the fridge. They will be as good as new when you reach for them a week later.
3. Celery sticks
A little-known storage hack that prevents mold from growing on bread is the celery stick. Put one together with your loaf of bread. Refrigerate the ingredients. You’ll find them still fresh when you next check on them.
Also on this list of food storage hacks is bread, which may seem odd because it has the propensity to turn moldy. However, storing a slice together with soft cookies keeps them fresh.
5. Table salt
Another well-kept storage secret is table salt. It prevents milk from spoiling. Put a little of it into the bottle as soon as you take it home from the supermarket. It will last.
6. Plastic bags
Are you tired of your bananas ripening so fast that you can’t eat them? There’s a way to keep them from becoming rotten. If you have a bunch of bananas, wrap a plastic bag around its stem. It will prevent them from ripening too quickly.
7. Kitchen towel
A wilted salad is hardly palatable. It kills your appetite and is a waste. Wrap your vegetables in a kitchen towel. It absorbs moisture and preserves them.
8. Vintage Bread Box
Another way to store bread loaves is in a vintage bread box. Their effectiveness isn’t a myth-they do lengthen the shelf lives of bread.
9. Storing potatoes
Store potatoes in a cool, dry place. Don’t put sweet potatoes in the fridge as they will spoil fast.
10. Storing stone fruit
Keep fruits with a single seed in the middle, such as peaches and nectarines, at room temperature, with the stems facing downward. Don’t put them in plastic bags as mold will set in quickly.
11. Storing cucumber
Store cucumber on the counter and not in the refrigerator. They will be subject to accelerated decay when in the fridge.
12. Storing root vegetables
When saving root vegetables, chop off their tops. Doing so keeps nutrients in the root.
13. Preserving Apples
The theory that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch is more accurate than imagined. One apple does spoil the others in the basket. Therefore, store apples separately from other fruits.
5 Food Storage Mistakes to Avoid
We often believe that we store food in the right way when we don’t. Here are a few mistakes that we make, and they are avoidable.
1. Not putting food in the right place
First of all, each type of food thrives at an optimum temperature. Cucumbers and avocados have to stay on the counter because cold temperatures degrade them. Keep wheat refrigerated after three months. Nuts remain fresh when in the cupboard. To keep food edible, remember to store it in the right places.
2. Keeping food in the wrong containers
Also, the type of containers you use affects the freshness of your products. For freezing and refrigerating, cheap food in airtight containers because these protect the food from freezer burn. Flexible bags store and dry foods equally well, but you’ll have to remove as much air from it as possible. Remember not to reuse plastic as it degrades after a few uses.
Mason jars are excellent for keeping food for a long time. Foods that you will likely store for a while are jams and homemade spaghetti sauce. Canning food preserves it as well.
You probably store food in so many places that you will forget about it after a while. Remember to take inventory of the food in your kitchen to avoid wastage.
4. Putting new canned goods in front
A person’s instinct is to place canned goods in the front rows of their cupboards. We usually grab the cans in front and ignore the ones behind. Reach for those instead.
5. Misunderstanding expiry dates
Every type of food has its characteristics. These foods also take time to finish.
In all, proper food storage keeps everything in tip-top condition for longer.