5 ways to keep your food fresher longer
As the demand for quality and fresh food grows, so does the need for a reliable supply chain company. To keep food fresh across the supply chain, the integration of temperature-sensitive storage and complex time-based distribution must be transparent, comprehensive and precise.
“Maintaining the freshness, quality and safety of food is shared by all, including the consumer,” says Moses Akingbade, Director, Cold Chain Assurance. “A key factor in maintaining food safety, quality and freshness, is ensuring that products are handled and stored at temperatures appropriate for the type of food. It’s what we all need to do in order to ensure we are nourishing ourselves in a safe manner.”
With over 65 years of experience with temperature-sensitive food, VersaCold can guarantee freshness from supplier to warehouse to store. But once food is delivered, it’s out of our hands. Here are 5 tips for keeping your food fresher longer.
1. Be a smart shopper.
First, start each grocery shop by preparing a list. Plan your week’s meals and check to see which ingredients you need. Starting with a list will ensure you don’t spend your money on spur-of-the-moment cravings that could ultimately end up wasted.
Next, leave the produce department for the end of your shop. Although this may seem counterintuitive to the typical grocery store configuration, some fresh fruits and veggies can deteriorate in the little time it takes to walk around the grocery store.*
2. Always follow the two-hour rule.
When it comes to customers’ food, VersaCold takes no chances. Even docks are refrigerated to keep food cold during loading and unloading. At home, your food should be safe as long as you put it in the fridge or freezer within two hours after cooking or buying it from the store**. If it’s hot outside, food should go in the fridge even sooner.
3. Avoid letting your food spoil.
Planning your meals for the week can also help you visualize all your groceries and how they’ll be used. Keeping that in mind, clean and prep your fresh food as soon as it comes into your kitchen. Prepared food is easier to grab and use and less likely to be spoiled.***
Some even go as far as cooking vegetables immediately after buying them. Precooked food can keep in the fridge for up to a week. To keep precooked and leftover meals fresh, use wide-mouth glass canning jars. These airtight, leak-proof jars are inexpensive and convenient.****
4. Keep your fridge at the right temperature.
Did you know that the majority of food spoilage is due to a lack of proper refrigeration? If VersaCold’s facilities and vehicles are even a degree too hot or too cold, clients and customers’ safety could be at risk. That’s why our employees always go out of their way to ensure foods are stored and transported at the exact temperature that will provide maximum safety and quality.
At home, your fridge should ideally run right around 35°F (1.6°C). This will keep your food as fresh as possible, without freezing it. But keep in mind that the coldest parts of your refrigerator are at the back and the bottom, while the doors are the least cold. Keeping milk or eggs in the door will significantly decrease their shelf life.
5. Take time to learn proper food storage.
A significant challenge for cold chain suppliers is keeping up with the different temperature requirements for perishable food products like dairy, eggs, produce and meat. To maximize shelf life, VersaCold stores food at a wide range of cold temperatures, from -25°C to +5°C. From there, food can stay fresh for weeks. But only if it’s stored properly.
Storing fruits and vegetables together can make veggies spoil faster, especially fruits like apples, honeydew melon and cantaloupe. Store fruits and veggies separately and out of containers or plastic bags so they can breathe.*
Store tomatoes at room temperature, stem-side down and out of the sun. Potatoes, onions and garlic should be kept in a cool, dark place and can stay fresh there for weeks.*
Keep your cottage cheese and sour cream fresh by storing it upside-down in your fridge. This creates a vacuum seal that reduces the chance of bacteria or mould.**
For a full list of foods and their proper storage, visit Heath Canada’s website.
VersaCold is your first step to providing fresher food to families. Our commitment to food and partnership remains at the heart of our network and know-how and allows us to stay ahead of the shifting needs of customers as they continue to evolve.
* “9 Ways to Keep Your Food Fresh Longer.” American Home Shield, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/quick-tips/9-ways-to-keep-your-food-fresh-longer.
**“Food Safety at Home.” U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/forwomen/ucm118524.htm.
*** “36 Easy Tips That Will Keep Your Food Fresh and Save You Money.” One Good Thing, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/36-ways-to-keep-food-fresh.
**** “10 Ways to Keep Food Fresh Longer.” AOL, 2015. Retrieved from https://www.aol.com/food/10-ways-keep-food-fresh-longer/.