Storing your food properly can increase its longevity and ensure you have what you need on hand when you think you do!
The number one rule with storing food is to be sure that raw meat and meat products are kept contained and don’t touch other meats or foods. It also helps keep your fridge clean, and prevents inconveniences like salmonella poisoning.
Meat only last a few days refrigerated – use the meat tray, as it helps reduce cross-contamination – but can withstand months in the freezer. Wrapping meats in plastic/cling wrap is fine; however this doesn’t always prevent leakage, and increases the potential for freezer burn. (That’s what those little white bits are on the edges of the meat you take out of the freezer.)
Your supermarket will sell plastic containers suitable for freezer storage (there will be a little symbol on the bottom that will tell you this) This will help keep your freezer neat, give you more space and make it easy to find what you’re after.
Plastic containers are also great for pantry items that tend to go stale when left in opened boxes, and they also help prevent spillage. They’re not essential, but they are very useful.
Use the crisper drawers for your fruit and vegies, as they reduce air flow to these foods and help them to last a little longer. Removing them from their plastic bags before putting them in the fridge also reduces condensation and prolongs their edibility.
Fruit and vegetables cannot be frozen in order to increase their life, so it’s best not to store them in the freezer at any time.
Also, check any storage instructions or suggestions on the food items themselves, or even on the inside of your freezer door. This usually has an indicator of how long certain foods can be frozen.
As a general rule, and to prevent food poisoning, fridge items (dairy, meats, fruit and veg) are best stored at under 4°C, and frozen at 0°C or below.
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