7 ways to extend the shelf life of food - Organic food shoppers

7 ways to extend the shelf life of food

Shelf life of food is very important for today’s housewives. How to extend the shelf life of food? Do you keep foods in the fridge or outside, whether it is better to stand on a light or dark place, how long it can be stored frozen …

How to extend the shelf life of food?

Heat, humidity, light and bacteria are the main enemies of the foods and as we fast life is not allowing daily trips to the purchase, carefully storage of food became imperative. The freezer is significantly slows the growth of bacteria and food can take longer, but not indefinitely.

The bacteria can multiply as fast at a temperature from five to 60 degrees (41°F -140°F). This means that food must either be in the fridge and freezer, or springs. Ready meals at room temperature should not last longer than three hours.

How to extend the shelf life of food?


Fresh meat is best kept on the plate, salted and covered with cloth or plastic film. If the meat will not be used in the next few days should be frozen. Thawed meat can be kept in the refrigerator for 48 hours before storing. Fish and seafood can be kept in the fridge for a day.


Poultry should be prepared within 24 hours of purchase or stored in the freezer. Poultry may be stored in the freezer (0°F) for 12 months. Thaw poultry in the refrigerator, under cold running water, or in the microwave. Cook poultry parts (i.e. breast and roast) and whole poultry to an internal temperature of 170°F, and 180°F, respectively. Leftovers stored in the refrigerator should be consumed within 3 days and reheated to 165°F prior to consumption. Poultry broth and gravy should not be stored more than 2 days in the refrigerator and reheated to a full boil (212°F) before consuming.

new refrigerator with lots of space

Foto: freeimages.com

Dairy products

It is recommended to freeze only pasteurized milk, which should be thawed in the refrigerator. Butter and margarine frozen in aluminum foil, as well as cheese, which should be thawed in the refrigerator and consume within a few days. Sour milk, yoghurt and cream are not suitable for freezing.


Fruits are placed in the refrigerator unwashed, peeled, in one piece. Most of the fruit stays fresh in the refrigerator for about three days, until the apples, pears and citrus fruits will stay fresh much longer. Cooling, bananas may darken, but this will not affect their freshness. Apples, pears and plums should be kept separately in paper or plastic containers because promote faster rotting fruits. Lemons can be stored in a jar full of water, in the cold. Apples should be kept apart, because they encourage ripening of other fruits and vegetables.


Olive oil should not be kept in the fridge. The ideal temperature for the storage of olive oil is 14 degrees. Storing oil in plastic dishes should be avoided, and the most appropriate for keeping a bottle of dark glass in a cool, dark place. Flour, sugar, cereals, pasta and beans are kept in a tightly closed glass jars in a dry place. Honey is one of the few foods that have an unlimited shelf life. He has a natural preservative. In an open jam jars will take longer to preserve when he put powdered sugar.


Perishable foods like eggs should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the door. Eggs are preferably left in the original package, as the temperature in it is lower.


Green, parsley, dill, celery, except in plastic bags in the refrigerator can stand and wrapped in a damp cotton cloth or kitchen paper. These plants can also be frozen, so that it is used in cooking. Dried herbs should be kept in the dark bowl, on a dark and dry place. They will not coagulate if it put a few grains of rice that will draw all the moisture.


Increase the percentage of water in vegetables, it becomes more sensitive. When standing on dry loses freshness that is returned by immersion in water. Tomato loses flavor in the fridge, cucumber is best kept in paper bags, carrots in plastic bags with holes, and the onions and potatoes in a cool, dark place. Vegetables prior to placing it in the freezer and packaging in sachets best first frozen on a tray. Root vegetables to remove the green part, the longer it will last.


Commercial bottled water has an extended shelf-life of one to two years due to extensive water treatment (filtration, demineralization, and ozonation) and strict environmental controls during manufacturing and packaging. Bottled water should be stored in a cool, dry place in the absence of sunlight. Household tap water has a limited shelf-life of only a few days due to the growth of microorganisms during storage. Therefore, consumers should purchase bottled water if planning to store water for extended periods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates commercial bottled water as a food.

Useful advice

When the power goes out in the home, minimize opening the refrigerator and freezer. Refrigerators and freezers are insulated, aiding in keeping foods cold to extend the shelf life of food. However, if the refrigerator or freezer door is opened often, the cooling will be lost. Perishable refrigerated foods (i.e. foods of animal origin) should be discarded after a 6-hour period. Using block ice may increase shelf-life of refrigerated foods. Food stored in fully loaded freezers may last for approximately two days, whereas food stored in partially loaded freezers may last for only one day. Freezer foods may be refrozen if ice crystals are present. Exceptions include ice cream, pizza, and casseroles. If the frozen food has completely thawed but is cold, it must be cooked within a 24-hour period; or foods may be refrozen within 24 hours after thawing. However, quality may be diminished. If in doubt about when the food actually thawed in the freezer, discard the thawed food. Dry ice may be used to keep frozen foods frozen and cold foods cold. Be careful not to handle dry ice with bare hands or breathe the vapors.

Foto: esra su and Andras Deak

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