You need to take precautions to make sure you do it safely whether you’re storing food in the refrigerator or freezer. The ultimate objective is to stop the spread of dangerous foodborne bacteria. One of the best strategies to prevent or inhibit the growth of potentially harmful bacteria is to chill food at the proper temperature.
Importance of preventing food wastage
Most people are unaware of how much food they waste daily, including uneaten leftovers, damaged food, and fruit and vegetable portions that could be used in other ways.
One of the simplest and most effective things you can do to save money, lessen your impact on climate change, and save natural resources is to make sure that food doesn’t go to waste.
- Spend less money by simply purchasing what you require, consuming what you purchase, and eliminating food waste.
- Conserve energy and resources. Food waste also results in the loss of resources used in its production, processing, transportation, preparation, storage, and disposal. These resources include land, water, energy, and other inputs.
- The emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). Producing, moving, processing, and distributing food are only a few of the processes that result in more than 85% of the GHG emissions from food waste that is landfilled.
- Donating unopened, wholesome, and secure food to food banks will aid those in need.
- Food scraps should be composted rather than discarded.
How to store food properly in the refrigerator
- Foods that require refrigeration must be placed as soon as possible in the walk-in or refrigerator. Never let seafood, eggs, or other goods that require refrigeration sit out for more than two hours, including meat (even chicken) (or longer during hot weather). Additionally, avoid cramming the refrigerator too tightly; always leave space around all refrigerated products for air to circulate.
- Make sure the temperature in your refrigerator is 4°C or lower. The ideal temperature for freezers is -18°C. The best approach to ensure that your appliances are operating at the ideal temperature is to use a refrigerator or freezer thermometer.
- Some packed goods could only be used for a few days after being opened. Any products you’re doubtful about should have labels checked; discard anything that hasn’t been stored properly.
- Food that has been stored should be regularly inspected, and anything with a strange odor should be thrown out right away. One indication that food has gone bad is mold, which can develop near or under refrigerators.
- Even if something doesn’t smell strange, it could still contain dangerous microorganisms. Bacteria other than those that make food look and smell terrible can cause foodborne disease. Slowing the growth of bacteria requires adhering to food safety procedures, which include refrigerating perishable food products.
Tips for refrigeration
- Food that is marinating at room temperature can quickly develop bacteria, so it is better to marinate the food while storing it in the refrigerator. After using a marinating liquid, it is advisable to discard it.
- Refrigeration equipment can support the growth of Listeria, although routine cleaning can significantly inhibit its growth. By properly wrapping refrigerated things and wiping up any spills as soon as you see them, you can prevent thawing or marinating meats from dropping liquid onto other food in the refrigerator. Regularly clean out the entire refrigerator completely and thoroughly.
- Refrigerate goods should be kept in storage containers or zip-lock bags with covers, and they should be routinely inspected for deterioration. The main compartment of the refrigerator is the best place to keep eggs in their carton rather than the door where the temperature is greater.
- Verify the use-by or expiration dates on product packaging regularly. The manufacturer’s suggestion on when the food item may stop being at its best is indicated by the use-by date. Although food may occasionally be safe to eat after this date, it is advisable to avoid taking any chances. Follow the expiration date and throw away anything you aren’t positive about.
Tips for storage
- For optimal freshness, store fruits and veggies properly. They’ll taste better, last longer, and allow you to consume more before they spoil.
- The majority of vegetables, especially those that could wilt, should be placed in the refrigerator’s high-humidity drawer.
- The low-humidity drawer of the refrigerator should be used for the majority of fruits and vegetables that are prone to rot (such as peppers and mushrooms).
- Bananas, apples, and pears are examples of fruits that release ethylene gas as they ripen, causing other produce around to ripen and possibly deteriorate more quickly. Away from other produce, store these.
- To avoid mold, don’t wash berries, cherries, or grapes until you’re ready to eat them.
- A cool, dry, dark, and well-ventilated area should be used to store some crops, including potatoes, garlic, onion, etc.
- Make sure the food in your refrigerator is being stored properly. The section of the fridge that gets the most heat is the door. While you can keep condiments there, it’s not a good idea to keep milk or eggs there.
- Grain should be kept in sealed containers that are labeled with the date and the contents.
- Visit and become friends with your freezer. Bread, sliced fruit, meat, and leftovers that you know won’t be consumed in time should be frozen. Put the date and the contents on the label.
Food waste is a major problem not just in Bangladesh but everywhere in the world. The problem is so significant that it has greatly affected everyone in a wide variety of ways.
There are many advantages to cutting down on food waste. Imagine how much money everyone could save on their food bills given how much food is wasted.
Food waste is a highly worrying and serious problem that affects everyone. But on the plus side, it’s really simple to go beyond it. You have a lot of options for offering assistance. If you plan smartly while stocking up your refrigerator and storing food, it will be a lot easier for you to cut on food wastage and make the best use of fresh produces every day!