Importance of Keeping Produce Fresh and Refrigerating Meat
Keeping fruits, vegetables, and other foods fresh is important in maintaining healthy and nutritious options in your kitchen. While some food may be left unrefrigerated, others must be kept below certain temperatures in order to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold, and ensure that the food remains edible. Here are some foods you should always keep in the refrigerator, and why keeping them cool is the best way to keep a happy and healthy household.
Keeping meat in a refrigerator or other refrigerated location is the single most important step in keeping it safe for eating purposes. Bacteria grow incredibly quickly on meat, and leaving meats in the refrigerator will greatly slow down this process to ensure that they stay edible until its expiration date.
Meat should only be left in the refrigerator for a certain time, though, with different kinds being susceptible to bacteria more quickly. Uncooked beef and pork can safely be refrigerated for three to five days, while poultry and seafood should only be chilled for up to two days. If you wish to keep your meat longer than this, place it in the freezer and only take it out when you are ready to cook. Do not Re-freeze your meat once it is taken out of subzero temperatures as bacteria begins to grow and cannot be destroyed again.
Refrigerating Fruits and Vegetables
Opinions differ on whether or not individuals should refrigerate their fruits and vegetables, with the majority believing that keeping them in cold places will prevent them from ripening but will protect them from unnecessary harm from bacteria and fungus.
If you do store fruits and vegetables outside of the refrigerator, know that those with non-edible rinds will last the longest, such as oranges, papayas, mangos, bananas, and pineapples. Apples can also be safely stored outside of refrigeration, yet will lose their taste and texture quicker than the others.
Finally, when storing fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, make sure to place them in separate containers; fruits produce a chemical called ethylene, which can cause serious damage to vegetables upon contact. Keeping fruits and vegetables in separate containers can easily solve this problem.
Maintain Your Refrigerator
One of the biggest detriments to the health of the meat, fruits, and vegetables that you store is the quality and working condition of your refrigerator itself. Many refrigerators have twisting dials that allow the owners to set temperatures; make sure that yours is set at 40 degrees at all times. Any more than this and bacteria will grow rapidly; any less and you will begin to see ice and frost appear on your precious foods. While this will not harm you if eaten, it causes the taste to deteriorate significantly, even after proper preparation. Also, when storing your produce and meat, make sure that everything is placed separately to ensure that no cross-contamination of bacteria takes place. This will keep your foods healthy and bacteria-free.
Delicious Food in the Refrigerator
Proper refrigeration of your perishable foods is imperative in keeping them safe and healthy. Follow these steps when storing your meats, fruits, and vegetables to ensure that you are always preparing delicious meals that are healthy for everyone.
This article was written by Travis Guerrero, a health and nutrition expert who looks forward to helping you live a healthier life. He recommends that businesses consider using the services of Diamond Transportation Logistics, Inc. when in need of a refrigerated carrier to transport produce. Check them out today and see what they can do for you!