Summer in Australia is known for hot temperatures and regular storms. While it can be annoying for us, it’s even more dangerous for our food.
Guess what elements put food safety most at risk? That’s right – Heat and moisture. Both can lead to rapid food spoilage and, even worse, the growth of bacteria and dangerous micro-organisms.
Knowing how to properly store and prepare your food in summer won’t just keep it fresher for longer, it will ensure you don’t put your health (and the health of others) at risk.
Follow these 5 tips for food storage and safety in summer:
1. Store food in the right place
This might sound straightforward, but it’s important to know where your foods should be properly stored. That way they will stay fresh and you’ll cut down on wastage.
Here’s a great storage guide for all of your food: Food storage 101.
2. Store meat in the freezer
It’s always a good idea to freeze raw meat when you’re not using it. When you do need it, you can always thaw it out.
A good tip for summer is to buy smaller portions of meat to reduce spoilage and contamination.
And remember to store meat in well-sealed containers or packets on lower shelves in the fridge, as the liquid dripping from meat can spoil other food.
Here’s a great guide for storing meat, poultry and seafood.
3. Keep pantry items in airtight containers
Moisture in the air is one of the enemies of anything living in your pantry. The second is insects. Weevils and moths can eat through cardboard packaging, so always make sure you transfer your grains, rice, pasta, and cereals to airtight containers.
4. Bring older items to the front
We’re all guilty of items getting lost in the back of the pantry.
Make sure you keep older items at the front, with fresher items behind. That way you’ll know which items you bought recently and be able to use the older items quickly.
5. Be fastidious with hand washing
This is important all year round, but the conditions in summer are even more likely to nurture bacteria.
The best way to keep you and your food safe is to regularly wash your hands throughout the day and always wash your hands before handling and eating food.