Responsible kitchen users are well-versed in practicing proper food storage. However, there are lesser-known tips that can help extend the lifespan of food without compromising safety.
Fruit and vegetables
Bananas tend to ripen quickly when placed in a fruit bowl. By keeping them separate from other fruits, you can prolong their freshness. Green vegetables are best consumed within two days of purchase, while root vegetables can be stored for several weeks in a dark, cool, and well-ventilated area. Remember to remove potatoes from plastic wrappers to prevent them from sprouting.
Rice and grains
To maintain the quality of rice and flour, it is advisable to store them in airtight containers. Whole rice can remain good for up to a year, plain flour for six months, and self-raising flour for three months. To keep insects away from pulse jars, consider placing a few dried chillies inside as a natural deterrent.
Food dates, your fridge and your freezer
While "use by" dates should be taken into consideration, it is important to be cautious. To ensure optimal refrigeration, verify that your fridge is operating at the recommended temperature using a separate fridge thermometer. By doing so, you can safely store food until their expiration dates. When freezing food, it is convenient to portion them into individual servings and place them in non-stick freezer bags for easy access. To prevent confusion, label the packs with a spirit-based felt-tip pen on plastic garden labels, making items easily identifiable rather than being perceived as mysterious blocks of ice.
Maintaining food hygiene is paramount. Despite the prevalence of convenient foods in today's era, it is essential to adhere to the age-old adage, "if in doubt, throw it out." Each year, the number of reported cases of food poisoning seems to increase. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize safe storage practices.
By incorporating these tips into your routine, you can confidently prolong the shelf life of your food while safeguarding your health and well-being.