The Best Way to Store Your Food to Make It Last Longer

If you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of food in your kitchen cupboards, fridge, and freezer. And if you’re like most people, you probably don’t know the best way to store your food to make it last longer. Food storage is a complex topic, and there are a lot of different factors to consider. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to store your food to make it last longer. We’ll also help you understand the different factors that affect food spoilage, so you can make the best decision for your family.

The Different Factors That Affect Food Storage

There are three main factors that affect food storage: temperature, humidity, and light. We’ll break down each of these factors, so you can understand how they affect your food.

  • Temperature – Temperature is one of the most important factors when it comes to food storage. Generally, you want to store your food at the right temperature based on the manufacturer’s guidelines, which is dependent on the food type and packaging. For products designed to go in the fridge or freezer it is important to store accordingly, but typical guidance for the majority of ambient products is store in a cool, dry place. In practice this reference to ‘cool’ means that item should be stored at room temperature (15-25°C), ideally towards the cooler end, ensuring that it isn’t located near or above ovens, microwaves or other heat sources.
  • Humidity – Humidity is another important factor when it comes to food storage. Most people don’t think about humidity when they’re storing their food, but it can cause food to spoil faster. For instance, too much humidity can cause eggs to go bad. You want to store your food in a dry place such as in a kitchen cupboard or cabinet. Garages and basements are potentially suitable too, however they will need to be appropriately damp-proofed.
  • Light – Light can also affect the way your food tastes, and the way it lasts. Some foods, like avocados, bananas and beer, don’t like UV light so for these you’ll want to store in the dark. Other foods, like apples and pears, can be stored in the light, but others are packaged in such a way that the UV light will not reach the food itself. Direct sunlight should always be avoided as this can easily increase the temperature of the food significantly and result in rapid spoilage.

The Best Way to Store Your Food

As mentioned previously, for ambient products, generally you want to store your food in a cool, dry place. But depending on what you’re storing, your food storage method will be different. Here are some general tips for storing your food:

  • Potatoes and onions – Keep these in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
  • Flour and rice – These are best stored in kitchen cupboards or the pantry, but away from sunlight.
  • Dairy – These should be kept in the fridge. The best way to store cheese and butter is to put it in plastic containers. You can also freeze dairy like cheese and milk.
  • Fruit – Most fruits can be stored at room temperature. The exceptions are avocados and bananas. You’ll want to store those in the dark. Other fruits that you’ll want to store at room temperature: apples, pears, and berries.
  • Vegetables – You can store these in the pantry or fridge. You can also store them in a dark place.

How to Keep Your Food Fresh for Longer

Staying on top of your food storage can help you keep your food fresh for longer. Here are some tips for staying on top of your food storage.

  • Store any food with a ‘use by’ date, salads, dairy and cooked dishes in your fridge.
  • Keep chilled food out of the fridge for the shortest possible time when in use.
  • Check your fridge temperature using a dedicated fridge thermometer – your fridge should be 5°C or lower.
  • If your fridge is becoming overfilled remove items that don’t need to be chilled like multipacks of beer or unopened bottles of wine. This will ensure that crucial fresh food items are prioritised, such as meat.
  • Check your freezer temperature – make sure your freezer is set to the right temperature between -18°C and -24°C (-18°C is recommended).
  • Check your pantry items – make sure the items in your pantry or kitchen cupboards are properly stored, including sealed in air-tight containers where appropriate.
  • Certain dry foods can be packed into mylar pouches with oxygen absorbers inserted, then heat sealed – this can increase their potential shelf life by many months.
  • Make sure you’re always following the guidelines on product packaging. When you follow this advice, you can have confidence that the food will still be fit for consumption at their best before date, or often beyond. This will help maximise the shelf life of both your short and long lasting foods.

Final Tips for Storing Food Properly

Now that you know the best way to store your food, here are some additional tips:

  • Keep your food in airtight plastic containers. This will help keep your food fresh by keeping out dirt, pests, and other things that can contaminate your food.
  • Wash your containers regularly so they don’t get dirty. This will help keep your food fresh.
  • Keep your food cool, but don’t keep your food in the fridge if it’s not supposed to be there.
  • Handle your food with care – don’t mix your food together when you’re storing it. It’s better to store your food by type.
  • Keep an eye out for any signs of rodents or pests which could contaminate your foods.
  • You can store your fruit and vegetables in a basket or a colander. Just make sure they’re not touching each other. You can also use a paper bag, as long as you separate the different types of food.
  • You can freeze your meat for up to a year. Just make sure you store it properly and add a label so that you know when you first put it in the freezer.
  • You can store your dairy in the fridge for a few weeks, but if you want to be extra safe, you can freeze it.



Posted by John Locke