Food storage is all about keeping food fresh and safe. Chemicals in plastic containers leaching into foods have led to a lot of concern over the best ways to store food. Storing food properly, so nothing goes to waste, also makes sense for your wallet and the planet.
Studies have shown that Americans waste around 60% of their food budget. That’s a lot of greenhouse gases generated by food waste. Here are some top ways to store and preserve your food.
BPA-Free Plastic Containers
Use these for storage only, not cooking. Empty the food onto a plate if you are going to heat it in the microwave. Please give food a longer life in terms of smells and stains by oiling them lightly. The food in the container will also slip out better.
Food storage: Pasta and Rice Containers
Pasta and rice can also become stale very quickly. Buy in bulk in plastic bags and refill your containers. Always keep the tops sealed.
Food storage: Flour and Sugar Containers
These can be glass or BPA-free plastic. Your baked goods will only be as fresh as the ingredients that you decide on using to make that dish. Flour and sugar can absorb a lot of moisture from the air, so keep them in well-sealed containers that you find easy to handle as you take them on and off the shelf.
Food storage: A Bread Box
One might think that this sound old-fashioned, but a bread box will keep your bread fresher longer, in a cool, dark and dry place where it will be less likely to sprout or mold. Buy wholegrain unsliced loaves at your local bakery to cut down on plastic and preservatives.
Food storage: Mason Jars or Ball Jars
These come in all different shapes, sizes, and even colors these days. Again, they may seem old-fashioned, but they have been used for decades by people who want to keep their food farm fresh and who also want to avoid the potential side effects of food in metal cans. The metal coating on metal makes it non-reactive against the content, has been found to leach into the food. Avoid highly acidic canned foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits.
The glass jars are non-reactive, easy to clean, and sturdy. The secret is to maintain the rubber seals or gaskets so there will be a tight fit to keep air out and freshness. The rubber rings will wear out or dry out over time, and replacing the rubber rungs is necessary.
Food storage: A Fruit Bowl or Basket
It would be best if you never put fruit bowl or basket in the refrigerator for freshness or taste reasons. Here is a detailed list:
http://healthyleo.com/15-foods-to-never-put-in-the-refrigerator/ Put your bananas and avocados in a fruit bowl or hanging basket.
Food storage: A Vegetable Bin or Root Cellar
Potatoes, onion, garlic, and other rooty types of produce will sprout in the fridge. Store them in a cool dark place like a box or bin, using it as a root cellar to keep them fresh.
Use these easy ways to keep your food fresher for longer and see what a difference it makes to your budget.
How Long Can Food Be Left Out?
We covered some areas of food storage. Now let us briefly look as few facts of how long can food be left out. Let me point out that it is necessary to care when food left out at room temperature. Some food can be left on the counter indefinitely, whereas other types have limits as to how long you can do so safely. Here are some guidelines about how long to go with some common types of food out of the fridge.
It is of the utmost essential to take precautions when you take meat from the fridge. If you cooked poultry, then it is a rule of thumb to leave it out no longer than two hours. If you have not eaten it by that point, it is safest to throw it out.
Meat that has sat around too long, especially in the so-called “danger zone” of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, allows bacteria to multiply rapidly. When it comes to meats, salmonella and E. coli are a few of the main ones to give s worries.
Mayonnaise and Foods Containing Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise is a food that also requires some care. Although it is popular in foods like potato salad that often remain outdoors in the heat at picnics and barbecues for long periods, it is unsafe when out for too long.
Mayonnaise should never be out of the fridge for longer than two hours. If your food is going to be sitting in the sun or heat that is higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, cut that time down to one hour.
Dairy foods include items such as milk, cream, cheese, and yogurt.
It is ok to leave hard cheeses out of the fridge for rather long periods. Four hours is recommended by some, as hard cheeses do not contain the moisture that allows bacteria to breed.
Soft cheeses should never be left out of the fridge for more than two hours, though, and in fact, the recommended that soft cheeses are placed on ice or in another type of cooler when out for longer than 30 minutes.
Discard milk that reaches the two-hour out-of-fridge mark should period, and the same goes for yogurt.
Rice is an item that many people think of as being perfectly fine to leave out as long as necessary. However, rice contains bacillus cereus spores that are not killed even with cooking. When left at room temperature to cool for more than two hours, the bacteria spores then grow, producing a toxin that can make you quite ill. Rice must be put into the fridge when it is cooling down and after that.
Eggs left at room temperature in many parts of the world are healthy. In North America, the advise to keep them in the fridge to avoid salmonella. Leaving a cold egg out of the refrigerator can cause the egg to sweat, and bacteria will move into the egg.
Many types of food need to be refrigerated, and they each have their timeline. Follow the guidelines above to keep your food safely stored when not being eaten. You will reap a healthy and happy family.