Knowing food storage don’ts are essential to developing good food storage habits. Storing foods in bulk can save you money and time. It also helps preserve flavor, nutrients and color, and helps preserve the overall quality of the stored food.
You should, however, pay attention to what you are storing, and make sure they are items you will use in the future. It probably isn’t the best idea to store foods you might not ever eat just to avoid getting rid of them. That will be a waste of your time and storage space.
There are some things to consider when storing foods. Below are 10 “don’ts” to consider when storing foods.
10 Food Storage Don’ts to Consider
- Don’t store foods that have been sitting out overnight. If you are storing leftovers, then refrigerate them until morning, or better yet, vacuum seal and store them as soon as they are cool enough to do so. Even fresh foods can grow bacteria if left out overnight. If foods require refrigeration, then make sure you place them in your refrigerator as soon as you get home from the grocery store.
- Avoid storing unfavorable leftovers. If your kids don’t like it today, they probably won’t like it a week from now. Unless you can come up with a good plan to reinvent the unfavorable leftovers, then toss them.
- Avoid storing food items that you didn’t eat at dinner parties and decided to take home instead. If you didn’t want it or like it when it was offered to you at the party, then you probably won’t desire it later. You can always offer it to other family members or simply avoid taking it home at all, so that your host’s feeling won’t be hurt.
- Avoid saving scraps of food. The time alone to pack it up for storage is not worth it. Instead consider packing it for lunch for yourself or someone else.
- Avoid saving foods that are greasy. Greasy foods are still greasy once stored and will more than likely taste awful.
- Do not vacuum pack foods with high contents of water, such as certain fruits and vegetables.
- Do not vacuum seal mushrooms, onions and garlic.
- Do not vacuum pack vegetables that give off gases, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. The gas can cause the sealed bag to expand and the vegetables to go bad.
- Do not vacuum seal soft cheeses.
- Do not store experimental dishes that just didn’t come out like you expected them to. Again, unless you have great plans to reinvent these dishes, then you aren’t going to like them any better at a later date.
More On Food Storage
Vacuum packing foods is a great way to extend the shelf life of foods as long as safe food storage methods are applied. It also allows you to buy in bulk or get items on sale in larger quantities. Make smart choices when you are vacuum sealing. Deli meats that will be used within a week after purchase will not need to be vacuum sealed, and packing items that will be used up fairly quickly (within a few days) is a waste of your time and energy.
Make sure foods are washed, clean and as fresh as possible before vacuum sealing them. Avoid cross contamination by never storing different foods together in one bag or container.
Be wise when storing foods, and it will make your life simpler and your meals more desirable.