All About Food Safety
The kitchen is the heart of body and soul, and exactly that is the reason why it’s all about food safety. There, we prepare our healthy meals, with which we nourish ourselves and our families. We make sure our children are taking their snacks to school.
We also dotingly whip up something to take to the office for our partner, and we strive to put a warm and hearty dinner for our family on the table every evening.
But this is only possible if we handle the food properly, so it lasts longer and doesn’t perish. Especially with the leftovers for one or more meals later, it is essential to store them properly.
Today, I want to show you how to keep your food fresh, your family safe from food poisoning, and what you have to pay attention to.
So that you do not unnecessarily throw away food and constantly have to go shopping, it makes sense to plan the meals ahead. In that manner, you will use up the freshest, and that which decays the fastest (for example salad), first.
So if you go grocery shopping on Monday and bring home some salad, you should ensure that you ate it the latest by Wednesday.
You should also use all other foods that spoil quickly, dry out or wither as quickly as possible.
Such edibles include cucumbers, tomatoes, bananas, bread and cooked leftovers.
To keep everything longer, you should always store your food in a clean and dry environment. That means, the tomatoes come out of their containers, you remove the cucumbers out of their plastic packaging and take the peppers out of the bag.
To keep them in the rest and save in the refrigerator for longer, it is important to clean the refrigerator regularly. By that, I mean not only from the outside but, most importantly, also from the inside.
This means that if you should encounter some spoiled food, you can fetch everything out of the fridge and wipe the fridge from top to bottom.
This prevents the germs, bacteria and mold spores from spreading within the fridge and contaminate the surrounding foods. Regular cleanliness is required!
Tupperware and Lids
The well-known variant, in order to store leftover food in a practical manner, is the Tupperware. These are available in different sizes, colors, lengths and widths.
This is very convenient as they already come with their individual lid. In the case of trays, however, you will find quite often that they have to be covered with aluminum or transparent film.
Store in a Cool Place
Some things should be stored cool, other things are not part of the cooling process. For example, bananas are not included in the refrigeration because they spoil faster.
However, it is safer to keep other foods, such as tomatoes, peppers, salads, fresh herbs, etc, along with leftovers, within the fridge.
Here, I must not forget to mention, however, that it is of the essence to let hot soups and sauces first cool down before you cover and place them in the refrigerator.
Don’t ever pack soups in bags or pack your homemade sauce in a Tupperware while they are still too warm.
You’ll risk that the food will get spoiled. It turns sour and, therefore, inedible, and all your effort was in vain.
In general, however, it is important to let the food cool down beforehand, as the expelled heat from the food can damage the refrigerator. Once my mother told me about my brother, who insisted on preparing jello by himself and put everything in a glass bowl.
He, then, transferred this hot glass bowl into the fridge. It did not take long until there occurred a loud “bang” and the whole fridge was looking like a pigsty.
The poor bowl burst into pieces, and there was jello all over the insight of the refrigerator. Even worse: One of the glass rails broke… Oh, brother dearest!
To make food last longer, you can make many foods, especially meat and fish, more durable in a vacuum sealer. The fact that the entire air is withdrawn, the spoilage is delayed.
This, however, is not an everlasting effect, either, but you can store your meat and fish for several weeks longer. Note, that fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, last significantly shorter.
In addition, the vacuuming helps in the food preparation, because you can utilize the Sous Vide cooking technique.
This works as follows: You heat a pot with water and enter the still vacuum-sealed food.
In this manner, the food cooks gently and both, meat and fish, stay juicy.
If you’re planning on cooking the food entirely, then you should season it with salt, pepper and herbs to create perfection.
You can even pack food leftovers with the vacuum sealer and warm them up whenever desired or necessary. Ideally, pack the food in portions. Then you know straight away, if you cook for three people, for instance, that you have to get three servings from the fridge or freezer.
Private vs Gastronomy
Whilst at home most of our bought food wanders directly into the fridge, there is have a much higher demand in the food and catering industry. This is the reason why many of their metal containers hold many ingredients and partly ready-to-eat meals, usually with a lid.
They are mostly so busy that they cannot run to the fridge every two minutes to fetch an item, thus, they make pre-prep in high quantities.
Take a deli store, for example, which offers a wide variety of sandwiches. There, you can see it very clearly: salad, tomatoes, pickles, onions and co. are out there on a display.
This makes it easier for the customer to choose what he wants to have on his sub.
They prepare everything freshly in front of his eyes. It is such a high demand that in such establishments spoilage happens quite rarely. Therefore, constant cooling is not necessary. Such containers are excellent for large companies. However, they are also an asset for big families, reunions and nice barbecue outings.
How Do I Store Food Properly In The Fridge?
Open the refrigerator, put the food in and close the door again. This sounds quite easy and saves time, but it harms your food an potentially even you and your loved ones. So, let me quickly explain how to store food in the fridge properly.
The Temperature In The Refrigerator
The air circulates within the fridge. The warm air rises upwards, while the cold air decreases. From about 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the top compartment, the air temperature drops to about 41 degrees on the middle plane.
In the lowest compartment, the temperatures are about 36 degrees Fahrenheit. The glass plate above the storage boxes for fruit and vegetables keeps the air cold. Thus, temperatures of about 47 degrees prevail in the fruit and vegetable compartments.
In the refrigerator door, the temperature is about 46 degrees.
How Do I Properly Enter The Refrigerator?
To keep food properly cool, you need to orientate yourself regarding the different levels.
The Top Shelf
The top compartment has the warmest temperatures. Therefore, this refrigerator zone is suitable for foods such as jam, drinks, mustard, ketchup, sauces, dressings, butter, eggs, smoked cheese and other foods that do not need to be stored particularly cool.
The Fridge Door
Anything you store in the top compartment you can also organize in the refrigerator door. Here, you can also accommodate bottles in a space-saving way.
The Middle Compartment
You should store dairy products, such as yogurt or cottage cheese, in the middle compartment.Fresh milk also belongs in the middle refrigerator compartment, as fresh milk spoils faster at warmer temperatures.
The Lower Compartment
This is the coolest part of your fridge. Therefore, slightly perishable foods such as meat, sausages and fish go down in the lowest compartment.
The Fruit And Vegetable Compartment
Fruit and vegetables belong in separate compartments. Temperatures of 46 degrees preserve the appearance and, above all, the vitamins in fruits and vegetables. Salad and fresh herbs are also included in the vegetable compartment.
To the food and catering industry apply special hygiene and storage regulations. Restaurant owners need, among other things, specific refrigerators that are suitable for storing certain foods such as baked goods, desserts or frozen goods. These ought to have a significantly larger refrigerated volume than refrigerators used for domestic use.
Storing The Refrigerator
If you want to put the fridge out of service for a longer time – because you are going on holiday or are moving – you should clean the refrigerator thoroughly. Pull the plug and remember to defrost and clean the freezer.
To prevent unpleasant odors from becoming entrenched within the plastic, you should leave all the doors of the refrigerator open until recommissioning.
How do you prefer to keep your food?
It really is all about food safety in the kitchen in order to keep you and your loved ones healthy and well-nourished. So, what do you use to keep up with the safety standards? Do you like to use Tupperware or do you fancy freezer bags?
Or, are you more on the side of glass containers? What do you think about vacuum sealing? Have you tried it, would you like to give it a shot, or not?
Tell me about your experiences, your opinion and how do you feel about the storage system in common?
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