While eggs and raw meats are the main sources of infection-causing microbes, fresh vegetables and fruits can also contain organisms that are food poisoning time bombs. Keeping the foods well stored, whether in pantries or in refrigerators, will go a long way in ensuring food safety. Consider and practice these food storage tips and keep food poisoning at bay.
- Store food as soon as possible. When you get back from the store, don’t keep the food on the counter and go off to other activities, put it away immediately and most preferably in the fridge.
- All produce that was bought peeled or pre-cut should be refrigerated, for example, half a watermelon.
- This is a well- known food safety tip: keep fish and raw meats and poultry away from vegetables and other foods. They are best stored wrapped to prevent their juices from reaching other foods. You can use plastic wrap or foil. This is to avoid cross-contamination.
- Perishables like fresh vegetables and fruits should be stored at temperatures below 40°F.
- High-acid canned products such as pineapple, tomatoes and grapefruit can be put on a shelf and stored for 1 year to 1 1/2 years.
- Low-acid canned products such as fish, poultry and vegetables can keep up to 5 years. This is only if cans remain in perfect condition. The storage shelf should also be a dry, clean and cool area. If the cans are rusted, leaking or bulging they should be discarded.
- For leftovers, ensure you divide them into smaller portions and store using shallow containers. This way cooling is speeded up and microorganisms have little time to multiply.