There have beena lot of discussions on the right or wrong food that can be stored in the fridge or freezer. Storing of food in the fridge is a very delicate matter. The food in the fridge can become moist and moldy and if it is kept for very long it can lose its nutrition and become unsafe to eat.
Food poisoning and food borne pathogens like E.coli, salmonella and listeria are the risks for stored foods. Some people throw away food by looking at the date of expiry, others throw when they see fungus or change of color or texture of the food. It is very tricky to know when to throw away the food and for how long to keep it in the fridge.
People have a tendency of storing food inside the refrigerator. The raw vegetables and cooked food remains good inside the freezer. But, you must know till what time the food inside the freezer will stay well. There is a life span of every food that remains good and healthy inside the freezing temperature. But there are certain techniques to store food inside the extremely cold temperature. You should not keep the cooked food that is hot inside the refrigerator. It is important to keep it outside and let it set in the room temperature. There after you can store inside the freezer. Let us explore the time till when you can store food inside the freezer.
Firstly it is important to understand what the food labelsactually mean—
This is normally found in fresh foods like meats, milk and curd and also on infant formulas. It is found the expiry date is the safety date and after that there is a risk of developing food borne diseases by using the product.
Best if used by dates
It indicate that thefood’s quality or freshness may start deteriorating after that date. The food does not become unsafe to eat, but it may lose its taste and flavor.
Sell by is the date put by the manufacturer so that the sellers do not display the product. It is advisable to use the product after this date if the product is at home, but a product should never be bought after the expiry of this date.
The safest way to store food
Food can become unsafe to eat if it is not stored properly. Grocery items should be bought just before reaching home and stored immediately. Cooler or thermal bags should be used to bring frozen and cold items. Fruits should never be kept in the sun to ripen as bacteria grow very fast on them. They get rotten before getting ripe.
- Fruits and vegetables Fresh fruits should be checked of mold, damage or bruises on the skin while buying. These fruits deteriorate very fast. Uncut foods can be kept for weeks, but the cut ones must be refrigerated and consumed within 3-4 days.
- Pantry items Pantry items include canned and dried foods, nuts, cereals and spices do not get spoiled, but they are freshest by the best date of use. The quality of these items deteriorates after opening the packet. Baby foods should never be after the packaged date.Leaking cans andcans with bulges should not be used?
- Milk, cheese, and yogurt These dairy products should not be used after the expiry date. These products should not be kept on the doors of the fridge where it is warm. Milk can be used for 7-10 days if it is kept in the cold. Soft cheese can be stored for 3-4 days and hard cheese can be stored for 3-4 weeks. Cheese can be kept frozen for six months.
- Eggs Uncooked eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 weeks.
- Meat and chicken Raw, ground meat and fresh poultry can stay in the refrigerator foronly 1 to 2 days. On the other hand other cuts can stay refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. Frozen ground meat can stay for 1 to 2 months, while frozen chicken, steak, or roasts can be stored for 6 months or more.
- Fish and seafood Fish should be cooked within a day or two and can be frozen for 3 to 6 months.
- Bread Bread should be consumed by the use by date. Storing in the fridge will prolong the freshness, but it will become stale. Frozen bread can be kept for three months.
- Leftovers Leftover food should be discarded within 3 to 4 days or they can be frozen and kept for three months. There is a risk of food poisoning after that there is a risk of food poisoning.
- Onions and garlic Onions and garlic should be stored in a cool, dry place. Yellow onions will stay fresh for a few weeks and red onions can stay fresh for about a month. Cut or peeled onions should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a week. Garlic can be kept at room temperature for 2 months but once it’s peeled, refrigerate and use it within 10 days.
- Oil any oil can be stored in a cool, dark place away from the sunlight and heat. If there is a foul smell in the oil, it must not be used.
Keeping food in the fridge
Tips to prevent bacteria from growing
- Dairy products and other perishable items must be kept in the fridge immediately.
- Some jars and bottles need to be kept in the fridge after opening.
- Cooked food should be kept out of the fridge for the shortest time possible, especially in a warm room or in the warm weather
- Sandwich or a cold dishes should be kept it in the fridge after preparing them.
- Cooked food should not be left out for more than 3-4 hours.
Time period till the food stores inside the freezer
It has been found out that, cooked food remains in good condition inside the freezer for 3-4 days. But, it is certainly not healthy to keep food more than such period inside the freezer. Variety of health issues can take place if you are making an attempt to consume food that is stored in the freezer which is there for a long time. Even the food safety and inspection service is speaking the same fact.
Guideline to store food inside freezer
There is a specific procedure in which you can store food inside the freezer. Several times we take out food from the freezer and throw away. It is just due to the fact that it has spoiled. But, we cannot do this on a regular basis as this will lead to great wastage.
Meat items in deep freeze
It is important to store the raw meat items separately and that too away from the cooked food. If you are still keeping the raw meat with the other cooked items in the refrigerator, this can lead to rotten food. It is important to store the poultry items and raw meat inside the deep freezer.
Storing fruits and vegetables
You must be storing the fresh fruits and vegetables inside the freezer. There is a procedure of storing them inside as well. Are you storing them like that? There are some gas releaser vegetables and fruits such as bananas, avocados, pears, tomatoes etc. Such vegetables must be kept out of the refrigerator. But there are certain fruits and vegetables such as honeydew, apricots, apples etc which can be easily stored in freezer.