Did you know that almost 40 percent of the food in the United States goes to waste each year?
Throwing out food that just a day ago was perfectly good is a demoralizing feeling. Keeping food fresh is a more difficult task than you might think. Whether it is storing leftovers or keeping your fruits and vegetables fresh, refrigerator storage is important.
Thankfully, there are food storage tips that are going to help you with keeping your food fresh so that you adhere to food safety and avoid eating any contaminated foods.
Continue reading to learn more about these food storage tips and how they can help you.
Keeping Food Fresh: Storing Leftovers
When you make a large meal and can’t finish everything, you don’t have to throw it all away. If you’ve got plastic, rubber, or glass storage containers then you can save that food and eat it another day, but first, you need to earn the proper way to store them.
The best way to start is by storing leftovers in clear containers that are leak-proof. Rubbermaid’s food storage containers are some of the best in the business and won’t lead you astray. They are airtight which will keep your food nice and fresh.
A good strategy to follow is to eat your leftovers based on which ones have been in the refrigerator the longest. Always eat the leftover food that has been in storage the longest.
You also need to be sure to refrigerate any leftover foods within two hours of when they were cooked. This ensures that they’re fresh. You also don’t need to wait for the foods you wish to store to cool down before storing them.
If you have a lot of leftovers then the best approach is to divide them into small and flat containers. This allows the leftovers to cool much faster than other types and sizes of food containers.
One thing that you need to be sure of when it comes to your refrigerator is the temperature that it is set on. For the freshest food, your refrigerator must be set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
It is important to know that it is a bad idea to refrigerate leftover tuna and soup broth as well as other food goods that come in a metal can. If left in the metal can, the metal leaches into the food and contaminates it with a metallic taste.
Storing Meat, Fish, and Poultry
When you have meat, fish, flour bins, or poultry that you want to store in your refrigerator it is best to keep it in the coldest area of the fridge. You should also try to keep them from being stored on the bottom shelf.
The most ideal place for you to store meat, fish, and poultry is in their own drawer inside of the refrigerator if possible. If the drawer that you’re storing your meat in allows you to change the temperature then set it for 29 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another thing you should do when storing meat, fish, and poultry is to make sure that you keep them in their store packaging. Re-wrapping them increases the likelihood of contaminated foods.
If the food didn’t come from the store with a styrofoam tray underneath it then slide a plate underneath it. This will catch any drippings that come from the meat and that can contaminate other foods in your fridge.
A nice rule of thumb to follow when storing dairy is to move the older items to the front when you purchase new ones.
For example, if you purchase some new yogurt for breakfast but still have some left from your last purchase, move the older one that needs to be eaten to the front. That way it gets used before it expires and goes to waste.
It is also wise to leave things like milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and sour cream in their original containers. If you take some out and don’t end up using it all, store it in a bowl and use plastic wrap to keep it secure and separated.
When storing hard cheeses, it is best to keep them in their storage container until you use them. If you have more after that, store it in wax or loose plastic.
For milk, storing it in a plastic milk bottle or jug is the best approach. Bacteria grows near a cardboard milk carton’s spout and can get in that glass of milk you just poured.
Don’t store milk in the door of your refrigerator. It is the warmest place in your fridge and is the most likely place for your milk to go bad. Additionally, be sure to get refrigerator water filters to ensure that your water is fresh.
Storing Fruits and Vegetables
The best approach to storing fruits and vegetables is to store each in their own separate compartment. Fruits and veggies give off different gases that cause other types of food to deteriorate.
You should also leave produce in its original packaging and unwashed or wrapped in a plastic bag for best storage results.
If you get lettuce from a farmer’s market you should consider washing it. Rinse it well and dry it by wrapping it in paper towels before placing it back in the bag.
Store cut fruits and veggies also need to be stored in a refrigerator specially. They should be stored in perforated bags or containers because they need a moist environment to stay fresh for extended periods of time.
For citrus fruits and bananas, start by storing them at room temperature until they reach peak ripeness. Once they are ripe, store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for longer.
Start Keeping Your Food Fresh Today
Nothing is better for your health than fresh food, and it is a shame how much food goes to waste because of improper storage. Keeping your food fresh will keep you healthier and save you money in the long run.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep every kind of food fresh for longer periods of time, whether it’s a cut of fresh meat or some fresh veggies from the farmer’s market.
For more great articles on topics like Health and Life, be sure to check out our other blog articles.