Food safety is a very important issue for households and restaurants all over the word. Fortunately, today there are ways to make sure that the food you put on your table is safe to eat, and one of them is making sure you pack your food properly before storing it.
Food poisoning is known to affect around 4.1 million Australians each year. For that reason, make sure to protect yourself by learning what type of packaging for food is most appropriate for different types of food. When it comes to food storage, the rule to follow is: in case of doubt, throw it out. Moreover, not all refrigerators have the same temperature in all parts. The door and the drawers are warmer than the rest of the fridge, thus it is not a smart idea to store highly perishable foods in those places. Instead, place them on the shelves.
Ways to Pack Food
Nowadays you can find a variety of packaging for food on the market. The most common ones are aluminum foil, plastic wrap and resealable plastic bags.
The contact with oxygen is the main cause for food to go bad. When you wrap food in aluminum foil, it protects the food from both light and oxygen. Aluminum foil is also considered the best material for keeping moisture out of food, which means it makes a great choice for freezing food in it. Nevertheless, you should also know that aluminum foil is reactive, which means it can’t be used with acidic foods like berries and tomatoes.
- In the fridge, use aluminum foil to wrap pizza, sandwiches, muffins and bread. You can use it with anything that can be re-heated in the oven.
- A great tip is to use aluminum foil around plastic wrap for foods that you want to freeze in order to provide an extra layer of protection.
- Remember that aluminum cannot be used in the microwave.
One of the greatest advantages of plastic wrap is that it is transparent, so there’s basically no need to open the package to see what’s inside. Moreover, you can use it to make an air-tight seal on containers or bowls that don’t have a lid.
To use it into the microwave, you need to make sure that the plastic wrap is at least 25 mm from the food that is being heated as the heat from the food can cause the plastic to melt.
Resealable Plastic Bags
These are a very convenient option for keeping cheese or cold cuts fresh in the fridge.
To store food in the freezer you will need to buy heavier-weight plastic bags, which can be easily found in specialty stores. These are particularly suitable for freezing saucy dishes or batches of soup. Remember to squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag before sealing it.