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Friday, August 25, 2006
While handling and storing food properly might be scond nature for some people, to others it's a total mystery. Here are answers to some common questions, according to Kathy Knutson, a food science teacher at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences; Michael Artlip, chair of the culinary school at Kendall and the Food Marketing Institute.

**How cold should your refrigerator be?
Set the temperature to below 40 degrees because bacteria multiples rapidly at temps between 40 and 140 degrees. Also, don't overload the fridge. Air should be able to circulate freely to cool all foods evenly. Freezers should be kept below 0 degrees.

** What's the best way to store raw meat?
When you bring meat home from the store, remove it from packaging, wash it, dry it, and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before putting it in the freezer. If you leave it on the package, warp it with something else. Meat will get freezer burn if moisture escapes it.

** Should I store tomatoes in the refrigerator or leave them on the counter?
Leave them at toom temperature until they are ripe, because tomatoes won't ripen in the refrigerator. Then try to use them as soon as possible before they spoil,because refrigerating tomatoes can make them mealy and grainy. Only put tomatoes in the refrigetor after they have been cut.

** Is other produce better kept in the refrigerator or on the counter?
As a rule of thumb,store fruits and vegetables the way they've stored at the grocery store. Most fruit does'nt have to be refrigerated unless it's been cup up.

** Should you store bread in the refrigerator or on the counter?
Refrigerating bread will make it stale quicker. However, keeping it at room temperature will make it mold quicker. What to do? After buying a loaf of bread, set aside the amount you expect to use in the next few days and keep that at room temperature. Store the rest in the freezer until you're ready to use it.

** How long does milk last after the "sell" date?
Most dairy products are goodfor 10 days beyind the "sell by" date. But be careful. Every time you leave milk out and it warms up, its shelf life is shortened. So always smell it before drinking, regardless of the expiration date, because rotten milk can make you sick.

** If mold is growing on your food, can you cut it off and assume the rest is OK to eat?
It depends on the food. With firmer food items like cheese, cut the mold off - plus another half inch - and eat the remainder. But don't mess with mold on softer foods like bread, where it's more likely to spread. If the bread is in a bag, mold spores are in the bag and will permeate the food. And always smell the product because sometimes mold isn't large enough to see, but you can smell it.

(Source: REDEYE by Alexia Elejaide-Ruiz)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:30 PM  
  • At 10:09 AM, Blogger Sidney said…

    Very useful advice! I learned something today !

  • At 4:01 PM, Blogger infraternam meam said…

    tks for the visit. i just change my fridge that has been w/me for the past 17 years. the freezer is still working but not the fridge, so i blog info about fridge.

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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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