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Get Packing with Proper Food Storage Methods
Food storage is an essential part of keeping prepared meals, ingredients and left-overs in the house and ready to eat when you desire. Different types of food have different food storage requirements. It is important to be aware of these when planning to store foods, especially over long periods of time, as incorrectly stored food can lead to a number of problems. These problems can affect not only the food itself, but also the person eating it through bacteria and other infectious issues as well as molds and even bugs, in some cases.
While some people may wish to sore foods for future use – such as with canning and preserves – others may need to put food away for use over the winter months when food supplies may become scarce or for emergency situations.
Certain types of foods are more conducive to long-term storage than others. Canned goods do have a shelf life, but it is often extensive. Dry goods, such as noodles may also last a long time in storage, but it is important to be aware of the shelf-life date for each food before simply placing in a shelf for a long period of time. Some foods will store better in dry areas, while some need cooler climates and others are best when stored at room temperature.
Here are some things to keep in mind when storing your food:
The general rule when storing foods for an extended length of time with success and prolong the life of the food’s consumptive potential is to store the food goods in an area where the temperature is slightly lower than which they are usually stored. This is because the storage lives of most foods are cut in half by every increase of 18 F. For example, foods stored in warmer temperatures, such as in the summer, will have a shelf life of less than half of what could be obtained at room temperature. This shelf life, at room temperature is accordingly less than half the storage life of foods that are stored in much cooler temperatures, such as in a refrigerator. Food storage areas should be located where the temperature can be kept above freezing (32 F) and, if possible, below a general room temperature of approximately 70 degrees.
Many foods to not do as well when being stored in rooms with humidity. Moisture is not good for stored foods and tends to cause them to break down faster over time than when stored in areas with less humidity. While most areas have some amounts of humidity in the air, there are a few ways to reduce humidity such as storing food in a place that has air conditioning available for when humidity levels rise, such as during the summer. Keep the stored foods off of the floor and out of contact with outside walls to reduce the chances of condensation affecting the food. Also, be sure to wrap or pack foods in storage containers that are resistant to moisture and can be sealed to prevent it from leaking in.
Light can also affect how food reacts when stored as shines on stored foods long and can transfer some of that energy to the food which can degrade the quality of stored foods by destroying important vitamins and reducing its nutritional value.