You should practice proper food storage to prevent food from getting contaminated and also to preserve its nutritional value. Poor storage of food also leads to losses. With proper storage practices, you will protect your family from food poisoning, ensure that you get nutritional value from your meals, and save money.
Here are food storage practices that everyone should practice to ensure healthy living.
1. Store Raw Food Away From Cooked Food
It is recommended that you always use sealed containers to store food in your refrigerator. You can use thermoformed packaging to ensure that your food is completely covered. The reason why storing raw and cooked food together is advised against is that raw food usually contains bacteria, which can easily be transferred to the cooked food. If the food is not cooked well or warmed thoroughly, the bacteria will have already multiplied, after which it will be consumed and cause illnesses.
Proper arrangements of the food in the fridge will help in preventing contamination. Raw food should be stored at the bottom of the refrigerator and the cooked food above. This will minimize or avoid the transfer of bacteria through spills.
2. Store In The Fridge At The Right Temperature
When storing food in the refrigerator, the temperature should be set between 0-5 degrees Celsius. Temperatures above this allow bacteria to multiply and hastens the food spoilage process. Therefore, the lower the temperature, the better your food will be stored.
When it comes to freezing, the temperatures should go below -15 degrees Celsius as anything above this will lead to quick spoilage of the food.
Freezing your food at the right time is also critical in preventing quick spoilage. That is why you should pay attention to the expiry dates of the food. Do not buy expired food or ones that are so close to the expiry date as these cannot also be kept in the fridge for too long.
Foods that are supposed to be stored chilled or frozen should also be stored as quickly as possible to prevent the bacteria in the food from multiplying.
3. Do Not Refreeze Food After Thawing
Food that has already been thawed should not be refrozen. This is because thawed food contains worse and more dangerous bacteria. If you have to thaw the food, only take portions that you will be using at the given time and leave the rest in the freezer. That is why also people are encouraged to store food in smaller containers and portions to avoid returning the food in the fridge after getting in contact with it.
If you have to refreeze food after thawing, you need to be careful with handling as it will determine whether or not the food will be contaminated. However, if it is possible, you should avoid freezing after thawing.
Thousands of people die from food poisoning, and millions fall ill every year. To prevent food poisoning and protect your family’s health, practice the above food storage practices.Food Storage, Food Storage Practices