There are a shortage and high demand for food during this pandemic period. People are supposed to practice social distancing and staying at home. Those are some of the ways that help to prevent the further spread of this deadly disease – coronavirus. It therefore means, there is more cooking at home.
As people are feeling anxious right now, the most essential thing is to regain a sense of control by managing their kitchens. With that, you have to ensure that food will last longer to help cut down your shopping trips. That also helps to reduce food wastes and saving your wallet.
If you want to stock food, there are some of the methods you can use to store food.
How To Store
Nowadays, refrigeration is a basic method of storage. Although, sometimes back, this method was a luxury method of food storage.
You can store food in a basement fridge. The fridge helps to store food at low temperatures. It is also the safest method you can use to store your food.
Fridges help to preserve the quality and the safety of your food. That is by slowing down the growth of bacteria. It is the reason why fridges are used because they help to minimize spoilage.
You can, therefore, store different types of food in your fridge. But, the different food types helps to determine whether it will last a few days or weeks before deteriorating their taste and texture. For you to store food safely, set the fridge between 1°C and 4°C.
There are precautions you also have to follow. For example, avoid overloading your fridge, store commercial food under 8°C, separate raw and ready-to-eat food in the refrigerators to prevent cross-contamination, and label food before storage.
Freezing helps to store food for months, but only when stored properly. That is possible because bacteria will not grow on frozen food. So, food stored in a freezer will remain safe to consume for an immediate period.
With time, the food eventually deteriorates in taste and quality. So, ensure the food frozen should be consumed within a few weeks or months.
If you want to use a freezer during this pandemic period, store your food between -18°C and -22°C. You also have to put your food inside air-tight containers or the freezer bags before you can freeze. Remember that proper wrapping will be an essential method for meat to prevent the freezer burn or becoming inedible.
Always remember that you should not freeze defrosted food because the bacteria get an opportunity of growing between thawing. That means you need to use the food immediately but you can also store in your fridge for 24 hours.
Another essential method to store food during the COVID 19 period is through canning. Canning is a significant method that will help to extend the lifespan of your food when you do it correctly.
During the canning process, it entails preserving food without oxygen. That is through the use of the airtight seal and then contaminate your food in a salty, sugary or acidic environment. The food should be in a condition that bacteria won’t survive.
If you want to store your food with this process, ensure that you have followed the proper canning process.
The food you need to store through canning should be of good quality. You also have to handle the food hygienically.
When scanning, there are suitable jars with self-sealing lids that have been designed for this process specifically. For example, don’t reuse old peanut jar with jam pot because that won’t give you an airtight seal.
The other way you can store food is by putting in a high-sugar environment. It will stop bacterial growth through the reduction of water content from the food. This practice is suitable especially for the fruits by making jams and marmalade which will last for a long time. After that, you can use a canning method to store the food.
All sugary substances will work well when you want to preserve your food such as honey, sugar syrup, or sugar granules. There are also some sugaring recipes or a combination of alcohol and sugar that will help preserve certain foods.
When using the sugaring method, you can preserve fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. However, this method comes with some precautions. For example, an excessive amount of sugar gives you health risks. The low amount of sugar below recommended, on the other hand, will allow food spoilage. So, ensure that you’re following suitable sugaring recipes and also consume sugared food in moderation.
- Vacuum packing
This method is similar to canning. The process deprives bacteria by eliminating oxygen through the use of airtight atmosphere. This method of food storage might not be as effective as canning but it will help you extend the storage life instead of keeping food in a cupboard or fridge.
The added advantage of using this method is because it helps in preserving food quality, smell, taste, color, and texture. That is, therefore, a desirable method for storing meat not intended for cooking at that time.
When there is air absence in the food, the vacuum-packed food will help to retain moisture that enhances optimum food quality.
To ensure safe vacuum packing of food, always prepare the food hygienically. That is by washing vegetables and fruits, remove bone from meat, and trimming unwanted skin or fat. When done, place in vacuum plastic bags. You also have to store that food in your fridge or cool and dry place.
The Final Thoughts
Food preservation is a process of preparing the food to stay safe and a long time. These are essential methods you should consider during this pandemic period of COVID-19. Food preservation will help in inhibiting the growth of bacteria and food spoilage. That ensures that the food will be safe and satisfying for you to eat in the future.
Through trials and errors over the past centuries, that has taught us the different safest methods you can use to preserve food. With the above methods, that will help to retain hygiene and quality of the stored food. The best thing is that, when you have time, right guidance, and materials, your food will be safe at this pandemic period.