Protecting Perishable Foods: Making the Most of Your Groceries

Protect perishable foods: Make the most of your groceries

Most people don’t plan to waste food. But we’ve all been in this situation where we open the fridge and realize that vegetables, fruits, and other foods have become mushy, mushy, or moldy. Thanks to inflation and supply chain issues, the cost of food is higher than it has been in a very long time, so having to throw away food that has “turned out” is expensive and frustrating. Learn some tips on how to protect your “investments” so that you can reap the benefits of good nutrition, avoid foodborne illnesses, and save money at the same time.

Fruits and vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are tasty and nutritious, but unfortunately they can spoil quickly. Here’s how to get the most out of your fresh produce:

  • Choose products in season. It’s usually fresher than out-of-season produce and will last longer, too.
  • Weigh the products before you put them in a bag, and choose the heaviest products to get the most out of your money.
  • Products from the refrigerated section, such as lettuce, are often moist, due to periodic spraying with water to keep them fresh. Get rid of as much water as possible before weighing.
  • Look for a product that is free of cuts and bruises.
  • Products that ripen quickly, such as peaches, plums, pears, and avocados, can be stored at room temperature initially to aid in the ripening process. But once it’s done, move it to your refrigerator.
  • Store berries, cherries, grapes, cauliflower, and broccoli in plastic bags or airtight containers. Celery can be cut into sticks and stored in water in an airtight container.
  • Citrus fruits and apples can be stored in the refrigerator if you are not going to eat them for a while.
  • If the leafy greens are wet from groceries, dry them with a paper towel before storing them in a closed container.
  • If you’re still spoiling fresh produce before you can eat it, consider switching to frozen produce and even canned produce (look for unsalted vegetables and canned fruits packed in juice or water).

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Dairy products

Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs) have a short shelf life, and if you do not store them properly, their shelf life will be shorter. Keeping these foods cool, paying attention to any usable dates, and checking for mold or foul odor is especially important to avoid illness.

  • If possible, plan your grocery store avenue so that you can buy milk and other dairy products at the end of your shopping trip so that they spend less time at room temperature, suggests the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • consumption of milk by the expiration date packed on the container; The curd should be used within one to two weeks of the date of purchase.
  • Do not store milk, cream, or half and half on the shelf of the refrigerator door, because the constant opening and closing of the door can spoil faster.
  • Soft cheese will spoil more quickly than hard cheese. If you won’t be eating the cheese right away, wrap it in wax paper, followed by tin foil. Store it in a cool place in the back of the refrigerator. Throw it away if you see green spots or blue mold.
  • Yogurt should ideally be eaten within five to seven days of purchase, although you may be able to extend it by two weeks. Throw away the yogurt if you see mold or pink streaks.
  • Stock up on sour cream and cottage cheese Upside down! This helps form a seal and slow the growth of bacteria, says the Food & Wine website.
  • If you use butter, it can stay covered on your counter for up to a month. But keep butter in the refrigerator on hot days.
  • You can also freeze most dairy products, but be aware that their textures – especially that of cheese and yogurt – may be different.
  • As with milk, avoid storing eggs inside the refrigerator door. Instead, keep it in its tin and store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Eat raw eggs within three to five weeks of purchase. Hard-boiled eggs keep well for about a week in the refrigerator.

Poultry, meat and seafood

  • Place raw poultry in a bowl or on a plate at the bottom of the refrigerator for no more than a day or two. Make sure the refrigerator temperature is no higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Eat cooked poultry that has been refrigerated within three to four days.
  • If the fresh meat is wrapped in butcher paper, keep it in the paper (just be sure to wrap it tightly). Meats packed in Styrofoam and plastic wrap are fine in the refrigerator, but if you’re going to freeze them, open them and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, then seal in a Ziploc bag.
  • Keep the meat at the bottom of the refrigerator where it is cooler. Fresh meat should be used within three to five days. Cooked meat can last three to four days in the refrigerator.
  • Bacon can keep seven days in the refrigerator and sausages fresh, one to two days.
  • Fresh seafood should not be more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Finfish should be stored on ice in the refrigerator and used within 1 to 2 days after purchase. Otherwise, wrap it tightly in a moisture-proof bag and store in the freezer.
  • Store oysters in a shallow pan covered with damp paper towels in the refrigerator. Use mussels and clams within two to three days and oysters within seven to ten days. Live lobsters and crabs should be cooked on the day of purchase.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the above information, don’t worry – you don’t have to remember all of this! Quick and easy guide at hand – and it’s free. The FoodKeeper . app It can help you learn how to properly store all your food, allowing you to keep it fresher for longer. Use the app online or download it to your Apple or Android device. Check it out here.

Want to learn more about reducing food waste? Read “How can you reduce food waste” and “Is this food safe to eat?”

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