Food wastage is one of the biggest problems the world is tackling at present. This is especially grave considering that a lot of people have to go without even one square meal a day. Aside from factors like the fruits and vegetables being spoilt because of weather conditions and transportation, cooked food is thrown away a lot too. Improper storage of food is one of the main reasons why most households throw so much of it away.
Just keeping things in the fridge isn’t enough, there are proper ways to store food to elongate its shelf life. Here are some safety and storage tips for refrigerating food that will ensure you don’t have to throw away leftovers from a meal again.
1. Storing leftovers
Most of the food that you have leftover from a previous meal can definitely be used if you store it in the proper way. Read on to know more about it.
- Make sure that you store all the leftover food that you may have in clear, clean, leak-proof containers or wraps. Your leftover food items will stay fresher for a longer time if you put them in airtight containers.
- Eating the oldest food first is an important rule when it comes to refrigerating food items. Hence it is of great essence that you follow the ‘First in, First out’ rule.
- It is also important that you refrigerate leftovers within two hours of cooking the food. As modern refrigerators can handle the heat of cooked food, you don’t have to worry about letting your piping hot food cool down before you store them in the refrigerator.
- It would be a good idea to divide leftovers into small, flat containers so that they can cool down faster. There are chances that some bacteria spores may survive the cooking process and germinate if left at room temperature for a long time.
- Another very important storage tip for refrigerating leftover food that comes out of a can like soup, tuna, cranberry sauce, etc. that you will need to remember, is that you cannot leave the remaining food in the can once you open it. This is applicable even though you may be putting the open can of food in the refrigerator. Once a can is opened, the residual metal on the rim can leach into the food and this leaves a metallic taste in it.
2. Storing fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of one’s diet. But, eating them on a regular basis means there are chances of having days-old produce, which may get spoilt if not stored properly. Here are some safety and storage tips for refrigerating food such as fruits and vegetables.
- It is always best to store fruits and vegetables separately. Storing fruits and vegetables with other foods is a bad idea, as they give off certain gases that may cause the deterioration of the other food items that you have in your refrigerator.
- In case you are storing fruits and vegetables that have the tendency to dry out, make sure that you store them in perforated or unsealed plastic bags. This maintains a moist environment and also allows the circulation of air inside the bag.
- Washing your produce before you store them in the refrigerator is a bad idea, as the dampness can make it go rotten or mold more quickly.