By Anita Edwards, Blog Editor at Spekless in Washington, D.C.
The average American wastes a pound of food per day. That’s twenty-eight burger patties a week sent to the landfill.
Think of how much better you and the planet would be if you could save more leftovers.
From fruits and vegetables to dried goods to meat, different foods last longer when they’re stored differently.
Here are seven handy food storage tips to save you money, and make your food last longer.
Refrigerate meat within 2 hours of cooking it
We’ve all been there. Thanksgiving dinner is over, and it’s been an hour since the turkey was cut.
It’s tempting to kick back and watch the football game or take a nap, and leave the cleanup for later or try a maid service like Spekless cleaning .
While the dirty dishes can wait, you should probably take care of the food before leaving the dining room for the evening.
As food cools, bacteria begins to grow immediately, and can reach dangerous levels in as little as 2 hours.
This is particularly true for meat, so get that gobbler into the fridge before you watch the Cowboys play whoever they’re playing this year.
The door is the warmest part of the fridge
When you’re putting things in your fridge, pay attention to what goes where.
Because doors get opened a lot, and because they’re on the outside, the shelves in refrigerator doors are the warmest part of the fridge.
Keep easily-spoiled foods like milk, eggs and meat on the interior shelves, and save the door shelves for longer-lasting foods like butter and condiments.
Separate fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables can emit gasses that cause each-other to spoil more quickly.
On the counter, keep fruits and vegetables in separate containers.
In the fridge, use separate drawers; one for each type of produce.
Store dry goods in bins
Dry goods like flour and sugar will last a long time at room temperature as long as they stay dry.
This process takes awhile, but moisture and other contaminants can slowly get into your dry goods through the paper grocery store bags.
To prevent this, keep your flour and sugar in metal or plastic bins with airtight lids.
Potatoes and onions
Potatoes and onions both do best when they’re stored in cool, dry, dark places.
Moisture and light in particular can cause them to start sprouting.
Although they do well in similar places, potatoes and onions shouldn’t be stored together, since they give off gasses that cause each-other to spoil.
Potatoes should never be stored in the refrigerator, while onions do just fine in the fridge as long as they’re kept separate from other foods.
Keep meat in the store’s packaging
Opening and re-wrapping meat can introduce bacteria and other contaminants that cause it to spoil.
Unless you’re using your meat right away, leave it in the original packaging until you’re ready to prepare it.
Thaw frozen food in the fridge first
Microwaving frozen food can leave the inside of the food uncooked.
To avoid this, let your frozen leftovers thaw in the fridge before you microwave them.
If you’re thawing meat in the fridge, be sure to place it on a plate to collect any drippings and prevent dirtying up your fridge shelves.
Today’s post was from Anita Edwards – professional writer and editor. She works as blog editor at Spekless, where she shares her own and her colleagues’ tips for cleaning. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and going on day trips with her children.