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Food Storage Tips for Corona Times !

The Coronavirus outbreak is causing us to rethink our supermarket outings and food storage. In addition to the fact that we should all be practicing social distancing its time to give some thought to the food supplies we have in our homes.

There is no need to horde food but here is a useful guide that shows how long prep food should be stored in the refrigerator. This will also help in planning meals especially if you do end up having to self isolate.

Even if you are a busy housewife these tips will help to plan.

Here’s how long food prep should be stored in the fridge:

  • Salads: Three Days
  • Eggs (Cooked): Seven days
  • Pasta: Five days
  • Rice: Six days
  • Cooked veg: Seven days
  • Smoothies: One day
  • Overnight oats: Three days
  • Quinoa: Seven days
  • Couscous: Three days
  • Lentils: Seven days
  • Veg soup: Four days
  • Bacon: Seven days
  • Pork sausage: Two days
  • Beef burgers: Two days
  • Minced beef: Two days
  • Steak: Four days
  • Chicken: Two days
  • Turkey: Two days
  • Poultry sausage: Four days
  • Fish (e.g. Prawns): Four days

Here’s how long food prep should be stored in the freezer:

  • Eggs Separate whites from yolks if you decide to freeze. Don’t freeze cooked eggs .: 12 months
  • Soups/sauces: Three months
  • Pasta: Three months
  • Rice: Three months
  • Vegetables: 10 months
  • Nuts/seeds: 12 months
  • Lentils: Three months
  • Pork: Two months
  • Poultry: Four months
  • Beef: Six months
  • Lamb: Six months
  • Fish: Six months
  • Meat stocks: Four months
  • Casseroles: Three months

This is a guide and any temperature variants i.e electricity cut, freezer/fridge unit not functioning at optimum temperature will result in reduced safe storage times.

Tips for safe food storage:

  • It is advisable to only freeze any food once. Refreezing and then thawing a second or even third time can result in allowing harmful bacteria to multiply.
  • Plan and think about combinations. If you combine ingredients then make sure that you estimate the shelf like according to the ingredient that has the shortest life.
  • Remember that smoothies have a fairly short fridge life as the fruit oxidizes quickly.
  • Defrost meats slowly.
  • Invest in good quality storage containers. These will assist in keeping food correctly sealed and prolonging shelf life.
  • A good guide for planning is that most prepared meals will last up to four days in the refrigerator once prepared.

Extra Ideas when storing foods:

If you are short of bulk storage containers use a washed and clean 1-2 liter plastic soda bottle. Perfect for lentils, rice, dried beans, etc. They can be easily stacked in a cupboard on their side.

Onions, Potato, Garlic and Ginger should be stored in mesh bags to prolong their shelf life. Simply hang from hooks in your cupboard or kitchen.

Wrap Fresh Celery in tin foil. It keeps fresher for much longer.

Store Nuts and Seeds in a container in the fridge to prolong their life.

If you want to store Salad greens then cover first with a paper towel before placing it in a storage container. The paper towel will absorb excess moisture. You do need to change the paper towel when it gets too damp.

Mushrooms should be cleaned and freshly stored in brown paper bags. They will last much longer than going slimy under cling wrap!

Invest in a vacuum sealer. This will allow you to seal many different foods in a vacuum that will help reduce bacteria growth and optimize safe food storage. Various models are available through Amazon. Click on the link below:-

The biggest trick is to sit down and plan. Work with a menu plan and make a comprehensive shopping list. You won’t have to stress about popping out to the supermarket every day!





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Posted in: Articles

About the Author:

Hi, I am a writer based outside Cape Town in South Africa. I come from a Barbecue obsessed family. With the great weather we have in Cape Town ( most of the year) we enjoy Cooking Outside in our Backyard as often as possible. South African's love to "Braai" anything! The trick to continuing to enjoy Barbecuing is loving the old favorites but experimenting with new foods and methods often.

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