Maintaining your food’s integrity during summer

fresh-foodThe summer months can impact us in a number of ways, from our health to the overall impact on comfortable living conditions.

But the extreme heat isn’t only of concern to us, but to the food we consume on a daily basis. The elevation in temperature and humidity will ultimately affect the overall quality and integrity of your food. But why?

Heat and deterioration

For the majority of foods and beverages, exposure to excessive heat is never an ideal situation. For example, keeping raw meat in an overly hot environment assists bacteria to form and essentially spoil your meat. Similarly, leaving dairy products out in the heat (such as milk or yoghurt) causes accelerated bacterial growth and, consequently, your dairy goods to off.

Heat alone may not necessarily deteriorate certain foodstuffs such as potato chips or soft drinks, but it still is something you should keep to a minimum for almost all consumable goods. Because if you create a situation where the likes of potato chips or bread sweat, then mould can form and present a health risk to you.

Storing and cooking foods

What you need to be mindful of is that between storing your food and cooking it, different foods require different treatment. For example, while you shouldn’t necessarily refrigerate your bread, it is best if you store it in a cooler area of your home away from the sun.

Meats, on the other hand, should be refrigerated immediately. Or, if you don’t think you’ll consume them within the first couple of days, should be placed in the freezer. The same rules apply the majority of meats, but can differ. In addition, regular red meats can usually be frozen for longer than seafood.

When thawing out meat for cooking, it should be done in the fridge. So remove the meat from the freezer and immediately place it in the fridge to thaw for 24 hours. Placing meat on the bench at room temperature – especially during summer – only causes the meat to thaw quicker than it should. This only causes bacteria to grow back quicker. So thaw for 24 hours and then cook.

Of course, while cooking does essentially meat is increasing rapidly in temperature, the mere rate at which the meat cooks and increases in temperature actually kills bacteria instead of encouraging it to grow. Once cooked, you need to consume the meat ASAP. Allowing meat to cool down slowly and remain at room temperature also causes bacteria to grow. If you can’t it all, immediately place back in the fridge so that it stalls bacterial growth. However, even then bacteria does have a chance of taking hold.

Main points to remember

The summer heat can cause a whole range of foods to prematurely age and deteriorate, as well as increase the rapidity in which bacteria grows. As long as you remain mindful of the fact that most food benefits from remaining in cooler environments away from the sun and should be consumed as soon as possible, you should be fine. Also don’t forget to check all food/drinks before consuming. If something looks off, it may be best to throw it out.

 

At Brisk Fridge Truck Rentals, we offer a range of refrigerated truck solutions both for rental and purchase. To find out more, give us a call on 1300 798 558.

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