Storing food properly is a vital way to have a nutritious and balanced diet, keep fruits and vegetables fresh and protect yourself and your family from foodborne illnesses. Thus, before keeping your food or leftovers in the fridge, it is important to follow a set of measures for healthier storage and fresher meals!
First, make sure the fridge is cold enough. The temperature of your refrigerator should be between 0ºC and 5ºC. If your fridge is full, you can turn the temperature down.
When the temperature is over 32 ºC, leftovers and perishable food should be stored in the adequate storage bags within one to two hours. A perfect choice would be Sanita® Easy Lock since it is the type of storage bags that close in one slide motion and lock tight to block out air and keep food or single portions fresh and well protected against freezer burn.
Other useful tips also include keeping the fridge door closed as much as possible, waiting for food to cool down before storage and using the right storing tools.
Nevertheless, it is not enough to focus on the temperature at which you store the food. It is recommended that people check the temperature of refrigerated and frozen food as it arrives. If the temperature is above safe food storage levels do not accept the delivery.
Storing the Right Products in the Appropriate Place
- If raw and uncooked meat can’t be kept in separate refrigerators, it must be stored in clean, sealed containers at the bottom of the fridge to prevent the risk of dripping juices and avoid touching other foods. You can put red meats and sausages in above uncooked poultry, but never the other way around. Cool cooked food as quickly possible and then put it in the fridge or freezer. Leak-resistant and highly thick, Sanita® Food Storage Bags are a convenient solution to preserve the taste and freshness of almost all categories and sizes of food.
- Cold perishable food, such as chicken salad, should be kept at 4˚C or below.
Salads can be stored below cooked meats, but they should always be above raw meats. Always keep salad covered in a lidded container or wrapped in cling film to avoid ingredients dehydration. Sanita® Premium Cling Film is excellent for healthy food covering and wrapping. It clings tight to all sorts of serving items to perfectly seal in the freshness, retain moisture and preserve flavor and aroma.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, leftovers should be covered and wrapped in airtight packaging, or sealed in storage containers. These measures keep bacteria out, retain moisture, and prevent leftovers from picking up odors from other food in the refrigerator.
The Importance of Hygiene
Bacteria can survive on the surfaces of refrigerators. Therefore, one should clean the refrigerator on a regular basis, internally and externally while wiping up spills immediately.
Storing Fruits and Vegetables
- Leafy greens, such as lettuce, collards, chard, kale and spinach, should be consumed 1-2 days of purchase. But to extend their life and ensure freshness, it is advisable to wrap the unwashed leaves in a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture, and then put them in plastic bags in the fridge. Keep different varieties in separate bags. Broccoli and cauliflower are best kept in separate refrigerator drawers away from other produce.
- Mushrooms are kept unwashed in the refrigerator since moisture makes them greasy.
Berries: Some fruits require “thermotherapy” before being stored in the fridge to stop the onset of fungus. You can give your strawberries, blueberries and raspberries a hot bath, spread them out on a towel and then allow them to breathe before placing them in the fridge.
Bananas: Yes, ripe bananas can be stored by being placed in a sealed bag. This trick will allow them to look more palatable.
Keeping food fresher longer is a challenge in every household; luckily, by using the right tools and following the right storing tips, it is always possible to store better and eat fresher!
Napco Consumer Division offers a series of wrapping and storing items that are a trusted hand in the kitchen.