How to store food safely at home

How to store food safely at home
How to store food safely at home

Another procedure is vacuum packaging, which consists of extract air of the bag in which the product is found. It can be done with a specific machine or by hand, by submerging a sealed bag in water, except for a small unsealed section, through which, under pressure, the air will escape. “It is a very useful technique for finhibit bacteria growth “They need oxygen, but it is not valid with those that are anaerobic,” warns Beatriz Robles, food technologist, dietitian-nutritionist and professor at the Isabel I University.

Robles is more in favor ofand preserves, as long as they are well sterilized, to eliminate the risk of botulism, caused by the bacteria ‘Clostridium botulinum’, and potentially fatal. “We must take extreme hygiene measures,” she insists. Jars in good condition, boiled for 15 minutes, for disinfection, and filled to the top, without air bubbles. For Robles, the fundamental step is the final sterilization, in which the already closed jar is boiled in a normal pot, with water covering it, for about 45 minutes. This is in the case of fruits, which are very acidic –pH below 4.6–. For ingredients with a pH above 4.6, it is recommended to boil them in a pressure cooker for one hour.

How to freeze and defrost food correctly

When it comes to cooking at home, Robles advocates “less is more”, that is, processes that are simpler and better, to reduce the chances of screwing up with cross contamination (one ingredient infects another when sharing the same utensil), confusion or lack of knowledge that could open the door to pathogens. That is why it opts for freezing, the queen of simplicity, capable of stopping the reproduction of bacteria in its tracks (although not destroying them), and preserving food for a long time.

“It is advisable to freeze food temperatures below –18 oC, for which a 4-star freezer is needed,” reports AESAN (Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition) in a guide to freezing and defrosting food safely at home. And as soon as possible, as soon as you return from shopping. In airtight containers or bags, or in its own container, and with its freezing date written.

“If you cook more food than necessary, freeze what is left on the same day to consume it at another time; If you have food that is about to spoil, cook and freeze them so as not to have to throw them away,” suggests the AESAN guide. Dishes fresh from the heat should be allowed to cool in the refrigerator first.

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