Nobody wants food poisoning. But you may be accidentally storing food incorrectly. Find out the best way to keep your food fresh, prevent bacterial growth, and avoid food poisoning.
How to Store Eggs
Store eggs in the original carton (which has the best before date) inside the fridge (Australian Eggs, 2019). A cold egg left outside the fridge will begin to sweat, which can draw bacteria inside the shell. Don’t leave a refrigerated egg out for more than two hours (Farquar, 2014).
(Pro Tip: Check if your egg is fresh by putting them in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs sink to the bottom, and older eggs float because they form a pocket of air in the base.
Cook eggs until the white thickens, and yolk begins to thicken.)
How to Store Avocados
- Keep at room temperature until soft and ripe.
- Keep in fridge for 3-5 days.
If you have opened avocado, wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
How to Store Citrus and Melons
Keep on the counter. Lemons, oranges, grapefruits and all types of melons are simple to store on your kitchen counter. Cut fruit can be kept sealed in your fridge.
How to Store Bananas
Wrap the stems in plastic wrap. Wrap stems individually to keep bananas fresh longer, because the stems produce ethylene which makes fruit ripen faster.
How to Store Meat and Poultry
Keep raw meat and poultry in clean, sealed containers in the bottom shelf of the fridge. Beef and pork lasts 1-2 days in the fridge, or 3-4 months in the freezer. Chicken lasts 9 months in the freezer.
If stored for longer, it will still be safe to eat but the quality will deteriorate (NHS, 2019). Make sure the meat is wrapped tightly in the freezer, and marinate it before cooking to improve texture and flavour.
How to Store Onions, Garlic and Shallots
Can be stored in a cool, dry and dark space for 2 weeks. Onions can be kept fresh for 6 months by hanging in stockings - this way they have more air circulation.
How to Store Potatoes
Keep next to apples to prevent potatoes from sprouting.
Avoid storing potatoes near onions, as they both release moisture, or in the fridge.
How to Store Cheese
Wrap in parchment or baking paper. Avoid using plastic wrap or aluminium foil as it will dry out the cheese.
How to Store Milk
Store in the centre of the fridge. Don’t keep it in the fridge door as its temperatures fluctuates a lot more.
How to Store Bread
Put brad in a paper bag or wrap in a dish towel, and store in a dry spot where it can last for 2-4 days (Brueck, 2016). If you want to keep bread fresh for longer, put it in the freezer.
Don’t store bread in the fridge as it will get dried out. Don’t store bread in plastic as it will become stale and mouldy quicker.
How to Store Your Meal Prep or Leftovers
Cool your food as quickly as possible, ideally within 2 hours. Don’t put very hot food into the fridge as steam will increase temperature and moisture in the fridge, increasing risk of bacterial growth.
Store in individual portions in the fridge for up to 2 days. Cooked rice should be eaten within 1 day/ Keep your leftovers in clear, airtight containers so you can see the food, and remember to eat it before it goes bad.
If you want to keep it for longer, store as individual portions the freezer.
When you reheat food, make sure it is heated so that it is steaming hot (70°C for 2 minutes), and eat as soon as possible. Cooling and reheating your food will increase the risk of food poisoning.
They are lidless, 100% leakproof, freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe.
General Tips to Store Your Food Safely
To avoid bacterial growth and food poisoning:
- Keep high-risk food below 5°C or above 60°C
- Store raw foods below cooked foods
- Store food in suitable, covered containers
- Avoid refreezing thawed foods
- Check use-by dates. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Follow storage instructions
Join our private Facebook group "Tasty, but healthy" for exclusive health tips and tricks.
Australian Eggs (2019). Eggs and Salmonella. Australian Eggs Limited. Sourced from: https://www.australianeggs.org.au/facts-and-tips/eggs-and-salmonella/
Better Health (2018). Food safety and storage. Department of Health & Human Services, State Government of Victoria, Australia. Sourced from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/food-safety-and-storage
Brueck, H. (2016). You may be storing your food all wrong -- here’s how to keep fruit, veggies, meat and dairy fresh for longer. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/best-way-to-store-food-2016-2?r=US&IR=T
Farquhar, P. (2014). Here’s Why Australian Supermarkets Can Sell Eggs Off The Shelf, But You Should Probably Pop Them In The Fridge. Business Insider Australia. Sourced from: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/should-you-refrigerate-eggs-in-australia-2014-7
NHS (2010). How to store food and leftovers. National Health Service. Sourced from: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-store-food-and-leftovers/
UCSD Community Health (2017). Ethylene in Fruits and Vegetables. University of California San Diego. Sourced from: https://ucsdcommunityhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/ethylene.pdf