Rising food prices have forced Britons to think about ways to make their food last longer, like storing produce in places they might not have thought of before. Various food experts have shared their tips on how to make sure fruits, vegetables, bread, and other ingredients last beyond their expiration dates.
Bread can go stale quickly, especially in warmer temperatures, however food experts have warned not to store the product in the fridge.
Jason Webb, managing director of Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI), a maker of digital thermometers, said, “It’s time to rethink the foods we cool. For example, bread should be stored in a cupboard.
“If you put it in the fridge it goes stale about six times faster because at cooler temperatures the starch tends to crystallize and this process happens about six times faster at fridge temperatures than at room temperature. .”
As for fruits and vegetables, which can also go stale quickly, they should be stored in the refrigerator and “in their original packaging,” according to Jason.
The expert continued: “Food should be frozen solid before the best before date – then thawed in the fridge and used within 24 hours.
“Food stored in a fridge should ideally be kept between three and five degrees Celsius, and this should be monitored regularly using a fridge thermometer.”
Jason recommended instead storing a product that is often kept in the fridge cupboard.
He said: “Too often we see eggs stored at room temperature in retail stores, but they benefit greatly from storing in the refrigerator once brought home.
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“If food is not stored properly, the risk of poisoning is increased, or the food will simply be wasted.
“It’s also important to remember that an expiration date is the safety marker and it’s there to protect us.
“Foods with an expiration date should never be eaten after that date, so we should try to use or freeze these items before they expire.
“Education is key to helping people better understand what products are safe to consume and when. With a better understanding of food storage, people will also enjoy tax benefits and save a trip or two to the grocery store each week. »
Gary Lyons, Operations Manager at The Plastic Box Shop, also offered his advice on storing food, as well as preparing certain ingredients for storage, again allowing them to last longer.
He said: “When you bring your fresh food home, wash and dry it thoroughly.
“Then line an airtight storage container with a dry tea towel and pour your produce into it.
“The kitchen roll can make all the difference when storing your fruits and vegetables because it absorbs excess moisture that causes food to rot prematurely.
“Most fruits and vegetables can be stored this way, but soft fruits, like berries, might benefit from leaving the lid slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape.”
Gary had a clever trick for keeping berries fresh longer, saying, “Wash them in a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water, rinse, then store in an airtight container lined with paper towel.
“Vinegar will kill any bacteria that can cause your fruit to mold.”
The storage expert added, “When choosing a container for your fresh ingredients, try to go for the smallest possible size your food will fit in. A tighter fit will reduce exposure to air and will keep your fruits and vegetables fresh longer.”