There’s nothing worse than going to your refrigerator only to find that the food you wanted has spoiled or grabbing something out of the pantry to find evidence of bugs in or around it. While these events can’t be avoided entirely, there are things that you can do when it comes to storing your food to help minimize the chances of these unfortunate circumstances.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three tips for safely storing food at home.
Start While You’re Grocery Shopping
To really keep all of the food safe that enters your home storage spaces, you should start worrying about safety while you’re shopping for your food.
Ideally, Better Health Channel shares that you should buy your frozen or chilled foods last so that they aren’t sitting at room temperature for very long. Additionally, as soon as you get home from your shopping trip, you should be sure to put these items away first. And if it’s a particularly hot day, you may want to keep an insulated bag in your car so you can place your cold items in there while you’re driving home from the store.
On the other hand, if you have items that are supposed to be kept hot, make sure you don’t put them next to your cold items, as this could cause both of these items to reach an unsafe temperature even before you’re able to get these items back to your house.
Use The Right Storage Containers
Once you get home with your food, you may want to switch some of your items into different storage containers so that your food can be as safe as possible while it’s in your house.
According to Better Homes and Gardens, the best items to use for food storage at home are air-tight containers. If you bought something from the store that wasn’t in an air-tight container, you may want to swap it out. Also, after you’ve prepared food and are saving any leftovers, make sure you place them in an air-tight container as well, as this will keep the food safer, longer.
Don’t Store Perishable Foods For Long Periods
When you have food stored at home, especially if that food is perishable, the FDA warns that you should plan to eat that food as soon as possible. While the duration that foods can be refrigerated after preparation will vary, it’s generally better to eat them the fresher they are. Additionally, some foods, like lunch meat, have a greater chance of harboring harmful bacteria the longer they’re stored, so you’ll want to eat them sooner rather than later.
If you’ve had bad experiences with at-home food storage in the past, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you safely store your food in the future.