Are there tricks to making food last longer and keeping fruits and vegetables fresh? Absolutely. We make a lot of mistakes and because of this, food often expires or spoils, but with these tips, preserving lettuce, cheese and apples becomes easy and effective. Proper preservation of food is important so that it can be kept for a long time and can be consumed even after some time without losing its nutritional values and organoleptic properties.

Food safety is important at every stage. First, you need to take care of the transport from the supermarket to your home: equip yourself with thermal bags and be careful not to let too much time pass before putting the food back in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer.

Then choose the right containers and the right materials: the favorites are steel, aluminum and glass, while transparent film is definitely to be avoided, especially if the packaging does not indicate that it is free of toxic particles that cannot come into contact with food too fatty or too acidic. Containers must have airtight lids, while the paper used to wrap fruits, vegetables and fish must be replaced frequently to prevent moisture from spoiling the food.

Another important thing is the best before date: put the foods that spoil first further and those with a longer best before date all the way down so as not to get confused.

In terms of storage, it is necessary to distinguish between shelf-stable food, perishable food and food to be frozen. Not all foods need to be treated the same: Each needs different humidity and the right temperature to avoid spoilage.

How to store stable foods in the pantry

Stable foods are those that should not be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, but can be stored in the pantry, such as bread, pasta, cereal, water, oil, coffee, canned goods, citrus and other fruits, such as pineapple.

  • Make sure the shelves are cool, dry and not exposed to direct light.
  • The ideal temperature is 70 °F
  • Do not put them in the pantry after opening: in this case, they must be placed in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consumed as soon as possible.
  • Always keep the shelves clean and avoid dust contaminating the food, otherwise it would be thrown away.

How to store perishable food in the refrigerator

Perishable foods are those that need to be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a few days.

  • The refrigerator must be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria from multiplying and to eliminate bad odors. It must be cleaned at least once a month with water and vinegar or with water and baking soda.
  • The thermostat must be set at 40 °F.
  • The food must be properly arranged on the shelves, keeping in mind that depending on the air circulation and the characteristics of the refrigerator, each has a different temperature:

Foods that need to be kept fresh must be arranged in the compartments of the door, but they do not need too high temperatures;

In the drawer, kept at about 45 °F, fruits and vegetables must be stored to be consumed quickly.

On the low shelves, which have a temperature between 32 °F and 35 °F, must be stored meat and fish, foods that must be consumed within two days of purchase and that require low temperatures to remain intact;

The high shelves and the middle shelves closest to the thermostat maintain its temperature and are intended for foods that are stored in food after opening and are already cooked.

Leave enough space between foods so air can circulate freely, and nothing will go bad.

If you need to store leftovers from lunch and dinner, first make sure they are not still hot.

To avoid any kind of contamination, avoid placing raw food and cooked food close to each other.

Containers must always be clean and hermetically sealed.

Do not place food near the refrigerator walls, as it could stick and in this case it would be thrown away.

How to store frozen and quick-frozen foods in the freezer

Food to be frozen and frozen must be placed in the freezer, that is, pre-cooked food that only needs to be heated before serving on the table.

  • After thawing, previously frozen food must be consumed within 24 hours, it cannot be put back in the freezer.
  • The ideal temperature of the freezer is about -4° F.
  • Clean the freezer at least once a month to avoid excessive frosting.
  • Remember not to leave food in the freezer for more than 3-4 months, especially if it is particularly greasy.
  • Do not freeze too many foods at once, use disposable containers.
  • To defrost food without losing its properties, do not leave it at room temperature, but put it in the refrigerator so that the process is slow.