How to Store Food Safely at Home

tips on how to store food at home

Welcome to guide on how to store food safely at home, with easy to follow tips.

Storing food safely at home need not be confusing. There are some rules that you need to follow in order to keep yourself and family safe. 

If you don’t follow the proper food storage guidelines, your family could get sick from eating spoiled or tainted food. This would be a nightmare for any parent, but especially scary if your child got sick because of something you did wrong!

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Follow our simple guide on how to store food safely at home and keep yourself and your loved one’s safe from sicknesses caused by contaminated foods!

Save Money By Reducing Food Waste

food waste examples

Food waste is an enormous problem. In the US, we throw out about 30% to 40% of our food every year.

Pretty shocking!

We all know that throwing away so much good food is terrible for the environment and also bad for your home food budget.

There are many reasons people throw away their groceries before they get eaten up; some people buy too much food, others don’t know how long certain foods will last, while others simply forget about what they’ve bought.

Wouldn’t it be great if you ate all your groceries instead of throwing them out!

Here are tips on ways to reduce the food waste in your home

  • Make a weekly meal plan and then draft a shopping list with the ingredients needed for the plan.
  • Do a larger weekly shop rather than shopping daily. This prevents older foods items from being overlooked.
  • Look carefully at all the foods you are throwing away and ask yourself why? Maybe you are buying an item because that is the habit you have gotten into.
  • As foods come closer to their use by date, consider freezing these items.
  • Use up the most perishable foods, like fresh chicken and salads first.
  • Consider buying as many frozen foods as possible. Most frozen foods will last for 3 months.
  • Discover ways of using up fruits and vegetables in soups and purees.
  • Always shop with a list and only buy what is on the list.
  • Be wary of special offers in the store. They might be a bargain, but not if they just get thrown away.
  • Avoid virtue signalling. I know people that always buy salad because it’s healthy but at the end of the week it’s not eaten, so it all ends up in the garbage.

Keeping Foods Safe during Preparation

Hand Washing

hand washing importance when preparing food

Proper hand washing is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria in your kitchen, but it’s also one of the most neglected ones.

Keep a soap dispenser close to hand in the kitchen and wash hands before starting any food preparation. Wash hands after handling raw meat and fish.

Do I Need to Wash Food Before Preparation?

washing fruit and vegetables before cooking
  • There is no need to wash meat, fish and eggs before cooking {source}.
  • I would rinse vegetables and fruits with fresh water before preparation. Rinsing well in cold water should remove all the grit and dirt that will have collected on your food between harvesting and shipping to the grocery store.
  • If you see packaged produce with the label “ready to eat” or “pre-washed” it is ok to the eat these straight from the packet.
  • Use a cutting board just for raw meat or fish. You can buy color coded boards for this purpose. During raw meat, or fish preparation, ensure you keep juices contained on a cutting board or in the sink. Don’t use any other food in that preparation area until you have cleaned well it with dish soap and hot water. Don’t forget to clean the knife as well.

Separate Your Foods Stored in the Fridge

where to store foods in the fridge

Observe a separation of raw meats and fresh foods in your refrigerator and shopping cart as well.

Doing this will help you avoid contamination of any kind, especially to foods that don’t need to be cooked like salad, vegetables and fruits.

Raw meats can contaminate other foods in your fridge with harmful bacteria like salmonella and E. coli.

Store fresh meat at the bottom of your refrigerator so meat juices can’t drip down onto foods below.

Storing Cooked Foods in the Fridge

ways to store cooked food in the fridge

You have cooked a lovely meal, but you still have plenty of leftovers. Why not cool it down and store in the fridge for a meal another day?

The rule of thumb is to cool foods down as quickly as possible and store in the fridge for around 2 to 3 days.

When you reheat, cook the food until it is piping hot.

Easy Tips for Freezing Food

easy food freezing tips
  • Cool foods quickly before wrapping well and placing it in the freezer.
  • My top tips is to ensure you label the storage container with the freezing date and contents. You will never remember what an item is unless you do this.
  • I would recommend only using “approved” freezer containers or stout plastic freezer bags. It will say “freezer safe” on the product’s description. This helps to avoid leaks and freezer burn on your food.
  • Foods are okay for three months, provided you have stored well them in a sealed container or bag.

Thawing Frozen Food

Thaw homemade frozen foods by putting them in the refrigerator so they thaw slowly. Foods like soups and stews can be reheated from frozen. It will take longer, of course.

Refrigerator Temperature

refridgerator thermometer

Your fridge should stay at 40° F so you foods will stay fresh and safe.

Conculsion

I hope I have convinced you of the benefits of observing food safety and storage at home. And see that you can save your money and keep your family healthy.

It’s also a good idea that you consider the recommended refrigerator temperature and store foods in the right place.

Remember to wash your hands frequently and pay attention to hygiene while preparing foods.

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How to Store Food Safely at Home

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