Properly storing food helps it keep its flavor, freshness, and nutritional value longer than if it is improperly stored. Food storage is important to consider because if your food is exposed to moisture, heat, light, or air when it should not be it could potentially increase your risk of getting food poisoning. When it comes to food storage there are some simple tips you can follow to make sure that certain foods stay fresh longer.
Poultry, Fish & Red Meat Food Storage
- If you refrigerate meat and fish always try placing them in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
- Shellfish should not be stored in the refrigerator for more than a few hours.
- When you place any type of meat in the freezer, avoid using plastic wrap to encase it. This may cause your meat to get freezer burn because plastic wrap allows moisture to escape.
Milk & Cheese Food Storage
- It is best to buy milk in a carton because it will retain its nutrients for a longer period of time. When stored in plastic or glass it does not retain its nutrients as long because both materials allow the milk to be exposed to light and light breaks down the vitamin A and riboflavin content in milk.
- Ripened cheeses like Parmesan do not need to be refrigerated, but they should be kept covered and stored in a dark, cool area. With ripened and hard cheeses you can cut off any mold that you see form and the cheese will still be good.
- Soft cheeses and other soft dairy products like butter and yogurt must be stored in the refrigerator at all times.
Vegetable & Fruit Food Storage
- Many fruits and vegetables can go bad much faster than they need to if improperly stored. One thing many people don’t know is that produce in general should not be stored in plastic. When placed in plastic there is little air flow to the food and this causes it to rot much faster. It is better to use paper or even cellophane.
- Never wash berries until right before you plan on eating them. If you wash them and then store them away the excess moisture will cause them to spoil quickly.
- When you store root vegetables make sure that you cut off the root. If you do not, the root will continue to draw out nutrients from the actual vegetable.
In addition to these food storage tips, it is also recommended that you always follow the FIFO practice–first in first out. You can even organize your food by expiration date. For even more great food storage tips you can visit premier food storage websites where you can find detailed outlines of how long specific foods last and much more.