The summer has arrived and the scorching heat of the sun brings a lot of problems with it. The shelf life of many edible items reduces drastically in summer. To extend the usability of food items we use the refrigerator. In summers our refrigerator becomes full of raw, half-cooked, and cooked food items. The refrigerator, however, cannot preserve food for so long. Every edible item has a different shelf life which you must understand. In this article, we will tell you the right ways to store food in a refrigerator.
How do refrigerators preserve our food?
The temperature of the fridge is much lower than the temperature outside. In such a situation, the bacteria which grow at high temperatures and spoil the food, do not grow at the low temperature inside the fridge. Due to this low temperature, the food kept in the fridge remains edible for a longer time.
Some common mistakes:
First of all, it is important to understand here that a refrigerator doesn’t stop the decomposition of food, it only slows down the process. So, food items will be spoiled in the fridge after a certain time.
Besides, do not keep raw items on the rack of the fridge on which you are keeping cooked items. This will promote the bacteria growing inside the fridge. Always keep both types of items on separate racks. Due to this, the bacteria of raw food will not go into the cooked food and spoil it. It is safest to store cooked food in a steel tiffin.
Many of us knead the dough and keep it in the refrigerator to save time. However, this practice is not healthy. When we add water to the flour, a chemical change takes place inside it. Therefore, as soon as the dough is kneaded, chapatis should be made immediately. When we keep this dough inside the refrigerator, it turns black and chapatis become stiffer, which are also not easy to digest.
Dos and Don’ts:
- Bacteria grow quickly in milk. Therefore, it should not be kept in the fridge for a long time. Canned milk (tetra pack) has an expiry date, keep checking it. If the tetra pack has been opened, use it immediately.
- Do not keep butter in the refrigerator for more than 15 days. Pack it well in plastic to keep. Take it out of the fridge 15 minutes before eating.
- Mayonnaise contains vinegar, oil, sugar, and many other things. If it’s out of the fridge for eight hours, it’s not safe to put it inside again.
- Bread should never be kept inside the refrigerator. It dries up and the taste gets spoiled.
- The starch present in potatoes breaks down due to the low temperature of the refrigerator. This makes the potato sweet. According to the Food Standards Agency, potatoes are one such food item, which should not be kept in the refrigerator. Cooking such potatoes releases a harmful chemical called acrylamide.
- The outer skin of tomatoes gets spoiled when we keep it in the refrigerator. This affects its taste. So don’t buy too many tomatoes. If the tomato is overripe then it can be kept in the fridge for two days. To store tomatoes, put them in a paper bag.
- The onion should not be kept in the refrigerator. If kept in the refrigerator, the onion becomes soft and tasteless. It should be kept at a normal temperature place away from sunlight.
- Cooked rice should be eaten within two days. Before eating it should be kept at a normal temperature for some time. After that, it should be heated and eaten.
- There is a rule of chapatis. After making it, it should be eaten within 8 to 12 hours. Avoid eating chapatis after keeping it in the refrigerator. Keeping chapatis in the fridge for a long time can cause stomach-related problems.
- To maintain the nutritional value of pulses, they should be eaten fresh. If you have leftover lentils, keep them in the fridge, but eat them by the next day.
- Fruits should not be kept inside the refrigerator after cutting.