- It is important to store food at the right temperature
- Follow the shelf life of foods before consuming them
- Avoid refreezing frozen foods
What is your go-to option for food storage? We bet they include (airtight) plastic containers, plastic wraps and zip wraps. What's wrong with them, you might ask. We would say they are wrong enough to have a negative impact on your health in the long run. The way you store food can effect food quality and also deplete it of all its nutrients. Wrong storage of food can lead to food contamination and food poisoning, mentions nutritionist Nmami Agarwal in her blog post shared on Instagram.
Wrong storage of food can attack food with harmful bacteria that can cause illness causing toxins when you consume them. These bacteria (staphylococcus specifically) do not get destroyed on cooking as well.
Salmonella food poisoning is also caused by poor handling of food. Contaminated meat and poultry can cause salmonella infection.
Cooking of food in the wrong way, (repeated use of cooking oil for multiple deep frying and other purposes) wrong storage and storage of food at refrigerated temperatures can cause clostridium food poisoning. It can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and stomach aches.
Contaminated food and water can cause campylobacter infection. This is common in areas with stagnant water.
Tips for safe food storage
1. Shelf life
You must know that all foods have limited shelf life only. Their shelf life depends on their type, the way they are packed and stored during the manufacturing process. The "use by" date is the date after which the food must not be consumed, and the "best before" date is the end of the period when the food is in its best state.
2. High-risk food storage
It is risky to store food below 5 degrees Celsius. Make sure that there is proper space between two items in the fridge. This will help cold air move over food. Store raw fish and meats in foil. It will prevent them from getting easily attacked by bacteria. Avoid storing foods like eggs, meat, fish, milk, cream and cheese for too long.
3. Frozen foods
Frozen foods are frozen for increasing their shelf life. They are prepared in a way that they can warm up from less than 0 degrees F. Every time you refreeze frozen food, its quality deteriorates. Avoid refreezing thawed food.
4. Store food at the right temperature
Bacteria can multiply if the food is stored in wrong temperatures. Easily perishable food should not be stored below 5 degrees or above 60 degrees. 5 to 60 degrees is the danger temperature for food. Make sure that you cook food at the right temperature.
5. Food storage containers
Avoid reheating food or freezing food in plastic containers. Glass or steel containers are healthier alternatives for food storage. Different kinds of food need different storage. Beans, for instance, need to be stored in room temperature in tight lid containers. After a month, store nuts in airtight glass containers in fridge. they can be stored in refrigerator for upt0 6 months and 1 year in a freezer. Cereals come under the category of low-risk foods and can be stored in a dry location in airtight containers for around a year. Dairy products need to be refrigerated and must not be consumed after their "use by" date.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.