Posted by Anastasia Saramourtsi, Quality Manager at Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort
Learn everything about storing food safely
Where and for how long should we store different type of food? What should be refrigerated and what shouldn’t?
Most food product labels provide storage advise, but what should we do after we open a food package?
Preserving food for a longer period of time helps in order to avoid illness, it is beneficial for the environment and it also saves us money. The following tips may help you preserve food and prevent food waste.
Understand the labels
Do you know the difference between “use by” and ““best used before” expiration dates? There terms are set out by European laws in order to provide information to the consumers about the products:
The “use by” expiration date is about safety. Consuming after the date that appears on the label, may get you sick. Don’t eat food after expiring, even if it smells fine. The label “use by” appears in dairy products, meat, and prepared salads.
The “best used before” expiration date is about quality. It can be safely consumed even after the date that appears on the label, although the taste, the smell and texture of the product may not be satisfying.
Those labels appear mostly in canned products, sun-dried products, frozen and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Not all food ought to be preserved in the fridge. Clean, dry and cool (below 25 °C) shelves are the best place to store bread, dry food (in sealed bags or storage boxes), vessels and beverage.
Some products, like bananas, cannot survive cold temperature. And such products shouldn’t be stored in the fridge. Also, potatoes and onions are better stored in a dark place, not in the fridge. Products that need to reach maturity stage, like tomatoes, avocados, fruit and pears can be matured by storing them at room temperature, away from the sun.
Products with a “must be adequately chilled” label, and most products with a “use by” expiration date, like Pasteurized milk, meat, fast food, etc must be kept in the fridge so they stay fresh. Temperature below 5 °C slows down the emergence and spread of harmful microbes.
Safe Cold Storage- TIPS
- Keep the fridge temperature below 5°C and frequently check the temperature with a fridge thermometer.
- Avoid storing too many things in the fridge. Have some space between the items, for practical proposes.
- Avoid storing hot food in the fridge, because this will eventually increase the fridge temperature. Wait until it reaches room temperature.
- Remember the «2 hour rule»: It’s important to cook and store the meal in the fridge within two hours.
Refrigerate safely to preserve the products
You can refrigerate almost everything before the expiration date and keep them preserved for years. However, the quality will be lower after 3-12 months so you should always check the product label.
Safe Refrigeration - TIPS
- Keep the freezer temperature below -18°C, check with a thermometer.
- Use the right package (sealed bags and plastic vessels)to protect the products and avoid «freezer burn».
- Defrost cold food before cooking, ideally for a whole night in the fridge. Once it’s cooked, it can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Don’t refrigerate already defrosted food, unless it’s cooked before storing it in the fridge.
- Avoid putting warm food in the freezer since this will increase its temperature.
The tips were written by the Quality Department of Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort.
This Department is authorized to adopt, apply and abide by the quality standards, with the view to ensuring the safety and health of our visitors, partners and staff members.
Except from the safety measures applied by the Greek Government and the Health Services, especially during the pandemic, the Quality Department of Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort, takes extra measures when it’s needed to ensure both safety and health.