How to Safely Store Food

If you’re wondering how to safely store food in the freezer, it can be a frustrating process. I used to just toss whatever foods came to mind into my refrigerator. I wasn’t aware of the fact that I was often leaving bacteria, spices, and preservatives behind. I didn’t think about the fact that there might be some foods that could make me sick if eaten too quickly. I simply believed that storing my foods was a quick and easy way to get rid of them. What I’ve discovered is that there are many different types of containers and bags on the market designed for this purpose, so here are some tips to help you in your search.

Use the freezer

The first step in how to safely store food in the freezer is to use a secure container in which you will store it. The ideal container would be something made of thick plastic that is large enough to store more than a few pounds. I prefer plastic garbage can liners because they aren’t too bulky and they keep foods from freezing at an abnormal rate. Other containers such as metal buckets or cardboard boxes work as well, but I have found these to be inefficient and they leave a lot of room for error.

There are two different methods of storing leftovers. The first is the traditional method of tightly wrapping the food in freezer paper. Obviously, this isn’t very sanitary and it also makes it difficult to cut into the leftovers. A far better option is to stack up several layers of newspaper in three separate layers. Then, once the leftovers are frozen, you can just take the bottom layer and poke a hole through it so you can remove the contents of the other two layers without contaminating the leftovers.

meal prep

Use the refrigerator

The next step in how to safely store food in the refrigerator is to know what kind of container to use in the freezer. Keep in mind that the longer foods stay in the freezer, the colder they will become. The ideal way to avoid this is to place all food in the fridge for at least two hours before you put it in the freezer. Some foods, however, don’t want to freeze that long and you may need to prepare them in advance in order to keep them from getting cold. This is when you will need bags or boxes.

Keep canned foods

Keeping canned foods in the garage will certainly depend on what kind you store. Canned meat, for example, should be kept in an area separated from the other cans in the garage in order to maintain a safe temperature. The same goes for foods like tuna that should never be stored in the same space as vegetables or fruits. It’s also a good idea to keep any leftovers that don’t spoil in the refrigerator until you can finish eating them so bacteria don’t multiply while they are still fresh in the fridge. If you’re storing food in the garage for long periods of time, you should consider buying a can opener so you can easily remove and add it to your collection anytime.

canned food

Another important factor in storing food in the garage involves the natural elements. Sunlight can quickly roil and damage food that has been stored in an enclosed environment, so it’s a good idea to avoid exposing your stored items to direct sunlight as much as possible. If you have an uncovered garage, you should definitely block off some of the more exposed areas with blinds or drapes in order to prevent spoilage. If you don’t have these options, the next best thing is to purchase self-sealing, plastic bags that will keep the sun out and keep your foods fresh. The only disadvantage of using these umbrellas is that sometimes you may not be able to control the amount of sunlight that hits your food, but at least you will have a place where you can avoid expensive seafood that has gone bad because you didn’t bother to use an umbrella.

If you do decide to store food in the garage, there are a couple of things you can do to increase the humidity level in the area. If you live in a dry, hot climate where the humidity level in the air is high all year long, you can simply place large piles of aluminum foil or corn cobs on the ground in your garage and shake them every so often. You’ll find that the moisture content in the air will naturally rise as the containers are cracked open. If you don’t live in a particularly humid climate, you can simply purchase an inexpensive dehumidifier to raise the humidity in the air. It’s important to note that storing canned foods in a basement or refrigerator without a humidity seeping device is a bad idea, as moisture is an essential component of the preservation process for many canned goods.

Finally

You should consider placing your food in a refrigerator that is kept at a constant room temperature. Room temperature foods are more likely to retain their prime taste if they are kept at the right temperatures. In addition, you should avoid placing hot foods, like meats and fish, near cold items. Doing so can cause severe burns and possibly result in death. If you must store food in the garage, keep the room temperature as close to the outdoor room temperature as possible. Doing so should allow you to safely store food for many years.