Okay, guys, you know me – I come from a family where scrimping and saving and making food last really counted. I’m the guy who will eat the 17-day old pizza stuffed in the back of the fridge because… well… it’s food! It’s valuable! And it’s been in the refrigerator, after all, so it’s gotta be good, right?
Since I know you guys share my hope for never wasting food, I thought this info was important to pass along – I know I’m not the only one trying to make food last beyond it’s safe point. Check out this list to make sure your kitchen is a safe zone!
Don’t worry, leftover pie is still on the good list! You just want to be sure to cover it and put it in the fridge as soon as you’re finished – meaning it shouldn’t sit out more than 2 hours. This goes for all leftovers, actually – Chinese food, too!
Fruits and Veggies
Use freshly-cut fruits within two or three days and vegetables within four or five days. The best way to store fruits and vegetables like apples, oranges, grapefruit, potatoes and other produce is unwashed with the skin, rinds, or peelings intact. So wait to cut or peel fruits and veggies until you’re ready to eat and you’ll extend the life of your produce.
Yep, this stuff DOES sour. The Unopened box can sit on your shelf for much longer than the 7-10 day warning – but once you open it and refrigerate, you’ll want to keep pretty good track of how long it’s been in there. Ten days is a good time frame so if you’re not sure you’ll use it all up in time, go for the smaller carton.
The USDA recommends using these guys within a month of the packaging date. To be extra safe, try not to go past three weeks – and how do you tell when eggs have gone bad? They start sass-talkin! Eeeesh, okay, sorry about that one. Seriously, if you’re in doubt, here’s a good test of freshness – submerge the egg in water. A fresh egg will sink and stay on the bottom of the bowl. A week-ish old egg will bob but still stay on the bottom. An egg three weeks old will stand on its small end and a bad egg will float.
Store nuts in the freezer (in freezer bags or containers) and sit back and relax for a year! If you store them in a room temperature cupboard, you’ll want to eat ‘em up in about 3-6 months.
To keep your little guys safe, there’s a couple things to know about jarred baby food. First, once you open the jar, refrigerate and use within 24 hours. Also, rather than spoon food directly from the jar to your baby’s mouth, transfer the amount of food your kiddo will probably eat into a new bowl and feed the cutie-pants – then top the jar of remaining baby food and refrige. This prevents cross-contamination. Plus, you get to use all those adorable baby plates piling up in the kitchen cabinets!
What’s your best food storage advice?
Photo credit: Wasserstrom, Thinkstock, Banoosh, WishfulChef, iStock, Giggle, Nutshop.