Food Storage

Food Storage

The purpose is to provide information for those who are interested in storing their own food and also to provide an alternative to the commercial products that are available.

This resource page covers firstly Food Storage methodology followed by a series of articles on how to freeze specific food types.

There are many different ways to store food and we will cover these and some of the best practices in storing food safely.

Preparation for Safe Food Storage

Wash your hands.

Wash your hands before handling food. This helps prevent pathogens like bacteria or even dirt from being passed onto the food you want to store. It’s a good habit to get into. If you don’t wash your hands, then you might be putting yourself or others at risk.

Also wash your hands after using the toilet, before preparing food, and after touching dirty objects such as toilets, sinks, taps, and door handles.

Clean surfaces food handling surfaces

Food-handling surfaces should be cleaned regularly with a disinfectant or soap solution. This helps reduce the risk of cross-contamination between foods.

Cutting or chopping boards are a common source of food contamination. Whenever I cut raw chicken on a chopping board I scrub it with soap and put it in the dishwasher as it not only cleans well in the dishwasher but the heat sanitizers the board also.

Use separate cutting and chopping boards for raw meat, poultry, and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination from other foods. 

Clean Utensils like knives before and between use.

Have trays with drip lips to stop liquids or meat juices from contaminating other food.

Packaged Food From Supermarket

Check handling/storage directions on labels from the manufacturer and follow any instructions given.

Check for spoiled food

Before storing food check that it ok. Degradation of food happens quite quickly, especially if the temperature is elevated.

Wash fruits and vegetables before storing them.

Avoid contact between raw foods and cooked foods

How To Store Food In The Pantry Safely

The best place to store food in a pantry is the refrigerator. This is where most of your food will be stored, and it’s also one of the cleanest places you can keep food. You should use this area for long-term storage of perishable foods that do not require any refrigeration.

Still use air-tight containers or wrap the food well with plastic wrap. Never leave opened cans or jars on the countertop, or in the pantry.

In addition to using an airtight container, try wrapping food with plastic wrap before placing it in a glass jar or container.

Commercial Food Chiller
Commercial Food Chiller

How To Store Food In The Fridge Safely

Refrigerate perishables as soon as possible, or for a picnic or beach trip refrigerating food in a cooler or another container with ice packs will keep it cold longer, thus last longer.

Keep the refrigerator at the correct temperature.  Keep the temperature at 40°F or below to prevent spoilage.

How To Store Food In The Freezer Safely

The freezer is a good place to store food items such as meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, and of course ice cream, etc.

If you put the food into good-quality freezer containers, that will not spilt or break in very cold temperatures, plus then you don’t need to worry about any leakage or spillage. However, when you freeze liquids, you should be careful with how much you put in the container as liquids will expand when they freeze a lot more than their normal counterparts.  

Keep the freezer at the correct temperature which is 0°F or lower.

Some further food handling and food safety practices

Be aware that food can make you very sick even when it doesn’t look, smell, or taste spoiled.

  • Know when to throw it out
  • Thaw it the right way
  • Cook food thoroughly
  • Keep high-risk food at 5 °C or below
  • Or above 60 °C to avoid the temperature danger zone
  • Store raw foods below cooked foods

Following these food safety steps and handling methods will enable you to learn How to extend the life of your food safely.