According to a study by Love Food Hate Waste, 7 million tonnes of food and drink are thrown out by UK households each year. Follow our tips on how to store your food to help you reduce food waste, save money and also ensure your food is being kept as safely as possible.
Storing meat or fish
This one is really important. Always make sure that raw meat, poultry or fish is kept away from other foods to avoid contamination. If you don’t have a meat compartment, make sure that you store uncooked meat on the lowest rack to prevent juices from leaking on to other foods.
When freezing meat or fish you should always...
Ensure you have frozen it before the use-by date
Always ensure you defrost meat or fish thoroughly before you cook it
Never refreeze raw meat that has already been defrosted
Make sure that you always keep your fridge below 5 degrees celsius, and your freezer at 0 degrees or below. It is well worth checking out the temperature of your fridge, as research has shown that 70% of fridges in the UK are too hot. Even if your fridge is just a few degrees out, it will mean that goods such as milk will not be keeping as long as they should be.
Packaging for preservation
Did you know that fruit and veg packaging is especially designed to help produce stay fresher for longer? This is why it is advised that you keep fruit or veg refrigerated, in its packaging, until you are ready to eat it. Likewise, foods like cheese and ham stay fresher if they are stored correctly. Making sure that these goods are resealed properly after use, wrapped in clingfilm or put in air-tight containers will help you to prolong your food’s lifespan.
Some fruits - such as avocados, bananas, nectarines, plums, pears and grapes produce a gas called ethylene. These gas-releasing fruits act to ripen other produce around them at a faster rate. As fruit keeps for two weeks longer if kept in the fridge, we recommend refrigerating such fruits in their packaging, and then transferring them into separate containers after you have opened them.
Keep bread fresher for longer
If you keep bread in the fridge rather than at room temperature, it will last longer,but the fridge will dry your loaf out and it will go stale a lot quicker. To avoid this scenario, keep half of your loaf at room temperature and another half in the freezer to take out at a later date. This way you will have fresh bread all week long.
Do you find that your lemons always seem to dry out after a week? If this sounds like you, then you’ll love our final tip. You can ensure that lemons stay fresh for up to four weeks by placing them in glass jars filled with water.
Give it a try
If you are looking to save money, reduce waste and keep everyone happy and healthy, make sure that you are storing food correctly in your fridge or freezer.