Storing food correctly can make it last weeks, or even months, longer but it can be hard to know what should go where. Do you keep your eggs in the fridge or pantry? Do tomatoes go in the fridge crisper or fruit bowl?
Tips for food storage
For better food quality when freezing, try these tips out.
- Avoid UFOs (unidentified frozen objects). Label and date food before freezing so you can tell what’s what.
- Simplify. Freeze leftovers in single serve portions for a quick weeknight meal.
- Save some dough. When defrosting bread, take care to remove any ice within the pack, as this can thaw and make the bread soggy.
- Trim excess fat from meat before freezing, to reduce the risk of spoilage.
- Puree fruit and vegetables with high water content before freezing. High water content fruit and vegetables, such as tomatoes, strawberries or apples, are often better pureed before freezing. Freeze in portions to use in smoothies, jams or pie fillings.
- Cooked rice and pasta can be frozen. Always freeze separately to the sauce, so that they last longer.
- Get creative! Yoghurt can also be used to make icy-poles if portioned into icy-pole molds or used to create yoghurt based frozen desserts (e.g. yoghurt ice cream).
Is your fridge keeping food as fresh as it could be?
- Keep things cool. Your fridge should be 3–4 degrees Celsius. You can use a small thermometer to check it’s at the right temperature. If it isn’t, it may need a professional service.
- Avoid overcrowding. Air needs to circulate to keep things cool.
- It’s okay to be shallow sometimes. Put leftovers in the fridge in shallow containers so they cool down quickly to help extend their shelf life.
- Store raw foods and cooked foods separately. Raw meat should be sealed and kept on the bottom shelf to avoid any leakage and/or dripping.
- Do a quick fridge check. Check seals to make sure doors are closing properly and check to make sure you don’t have any unnecessary of out-of-date items.
Storing food in the right way helps keep it fresh and tasty for longer. Have a go at some of these for getting the most out of your pantry:
- First in, first out. Stack newer items at the back and bring items that are near use-by date to the front.
- Declutter. Clear your pantry so you can see everything easily. This will go a long way to making sure nothing gets neglected.
- Know your dates! Best-before doesn’t mean a food is unusable, it simply means that after then, the food may start to deteriorate. There’s no need to bin it; just use it ASAP!
- Airtight storage. Half empty packets of food should be kept in sealable containers. Things such as stackable jars become a great way to keep food fresh and your pantry tidy.
- Bag clips. Pegs, elastic bands, or proper bag clips will help prevent spillage and keep foods fresher.
- Jot it down. Keep a notepad close, so you can keep track of foods you run out of as you go. You’ll never forget something, or double up again!