Did you know that many foods that traditionally sit in the refrigerator are not meant to be stored in that environment? And those that can and should be put there are often placed on the wrong shelves. Let’s look at what you need to know about proper food storage.
How to store fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh longer
Very ripe fruits and vegetables should be carefully inspected before storage: if they show signs of rot, they should not be eaten. Rotting produces the toxin botulinum, which can cause poisoning.
- Cracked fruits and vegetables that have not yet begun to rot, it is best not to store for long – they should be heat-treated as soon as possible.
- Whole fruits and vegetables should be placed for storage in a special compartment of the refrigerator – fresh zone – the temperature in which does not exceed 6 degrees Celsius.
- If you bought too many fruits and vegetables and do not have time to eat them, it is better to cut them finely and freeze them. Then these preparations will be useful for preparing fillings for pies, second courses, compotes and more.
- Bananas and avocados should not be put in the refrigerator. They release ethylene, a gas that accelerates ripening. Products that are stored with these fruits, spoil faster.
- If you do need to put a banana or avocado in the refrigerator, it is better to use a separate container with a lid: this will slow down the release of banana gas, the bananas will ripen more slowly, and other foods will not spoil.
How to store fresh meat and fish in the refrigerator
Neither fish nor meat should be washed before such storage – so you can wash off the protective film that prevents the growth of bacteria and mold.
- Fresh meat can be stored in the refrigerator without any problems, having first taken it out of the plastic bag. When stored in a bag, meat can “suffocate”, change color, and begin to spoil faster.
It is best to wrap the meat in parchment paper and place it on a plate or place it in a plastic container with a lid.
Chilled meat can be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than two days. If you plan to cook later, it will be better to cut the product into portions and freeze it.
- The optimal temperature for storing fish is from -2 to 0 degrees. Not all refrigerators have shelves or compartments that can provide such storage conditions. So it is not recommended to store fish in the refrigerator for more than a day.
If you need to keep the fish longer, you need to put ice in a tray or container, and then lay out the product. The container should be tightly closed with a lid.
In addition, there are special thermo wipes that allow you to keep a suitable temperature. Something similar can be done and independently, freezing water in bags with a ziplock. On ice, fish can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than two days.
How to properly store cooked food in the refrigerator
You should not store cooked food in pots and pans. Before storing, you need to put everything into containers with closable lids. It will be useful to write the date and time on the container – it is better not to store cooked food for longer than two days.
Each time the container is opened, the food comes into contact with the air and the microbes present in it, so the more often the container is opened, the faster the food spoils.
Prepared food can be frozen. It is not recommended to put hot food in the refrigerator, as condensation may form in the container, and under the influence of excess moisture, the food will begin to spoil faster. The food should be cooled, and then in small portions in containers and frozen. Frozen food can be stored for a maximum of one month.
Do you need to store greens separately from other foods
Greens usually store well on the refrigerator door. A bundle can be put in a container with water, and cover the top with a plastic bag or use a special container.
Greens that contain a lot of essential oils, such as rosemary and thyme, are not recommended to be stored in water. It is better to wrap them in parchment paper or foil.
How to store butter so that it does not spoil
It is necessary to study the information on the package and find out under what conditions the manufacturer advises to store the product. Often indicate two expiration dates: for storage in the freezer and for storage in the main compartment of the refrigerator.
It is better to divide the weighted butter into pieces and wrap them in parchment. Send some of it to the freezer for long-term storage, and leave some in the refrigerator.
Butter that you will be eating right now, it is best to put in a butter dish with a lid – this method will help to get rid of unnecessary germs.
Which foods should not be kept in the refrigerator at all
- Garlic and onions are better not to put in the refrigerator. It is enough to put them in a dark, cool place. At the same time, it is better not to put onions and potatoes together, it can lead to rapid dehydration of potatoes.
- Tomatoes are also not suitable for storage on cold shelves. At a temperature of +4 sugar inversion occurs, tomatoes become unsweetened, “plastic” to taste. Tomatoes are more suitable for dry darkened place: a basket or box, laid with paper, the fruit should be placed with the stalk down.
- Chocolate can turn gray when stored in the refrigerator.
- Sunflower and olive oil will thicken in the cold and will not spread well.
What and on which shelves to put
The warmest place in the refrigerator is the door, you should not put perishable products there. Eggs and dairy products should be placed in the back of the refrigerator to keep them fresh longer.
It is dangerous to place frozen food, especially meat and fish, on the top shelf. When defrosting, the resulting liquid can get on other products in the refrigerator and spoil them.
How to store eggs correctly
- There is no difference what container to choose for storing eggs – it can be boxes in which they are sold, or special containers.
- When storing, it is better to place the eggs with the pointy end down to reduce moisture loss.
- Washing eggs before storage is not allowed – this washes away the protective film.
How to store bread
Bread can be put in the cold. But you need to remember that the temperature in the refrigerator is low and the humidity is high – the bread will lose its crispy crust, and its flavor will change.
Freezing is also a suitable way to preserve excess bread. The loaf can be cut into small portions, placed in plastic bags. About an hour and a half before eating, you need to take the necessary amount out of the freezer, if necessary, the bread can be heated in the microwave.
Whether you can store honey or peanut paste in the refrigerator
When storing such products, you need to be guided by the recommendations of manufacturers, look at what is written on the label.
Peanut paste is usually kept at a temperature of +5 to +25 degrees. Cold temperature it does not need.
Keeping honey in the refrigerator is also not necessary: it will quickly crystallize. But preparations based on honey, chopped dried fruits and nuts should still be placed in the refrigerator, so that they do not spoil.