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Family Times
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 • Posted July 21, 2010

Food Storage Follow up

This is a continuation from last week’s article!

Here’s a five-step plan for avoiding problems with outdated foods in the future.

READ LABELS CAREFULLY when purchasing food for usage dates.

Keep a permanent marker pen in your kitchen and put the date, month and YEAR you purchased the food on the container.

Practice "first in, first out," or what foodservice professionals refer to as FIFO, for foods. If you have purchased several containers of the same type of food, arrange the containers so you reach for the oldest package first.

If you tossed portions of expired foods, buy a smaller container or fewer packages next time.

If you can’t use a perishable food by the expiration date, freeze it. A food kept frozen at 0 F will be safe indefinitely although it will decrease in quality with time.

For more information on freezing, check the National Center for Home Food Preservation at www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/freeze.html

A list of foods that don’t freeze well is given at www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/freeze/dont_freeze_foods.html

Pros and Cons of Buying Food in Bulk and Stocking Up on Sales Frequently, it IS cheaper to buy the larger box or bottle. Getting two packages for the price of one IS a bargain! But, the phrase "penny wise, pound foolish" may apply if:

The extra package must be tossed because it wasn’t used within a safe-to-eat time period.

The remainder of the large box was discarded because the food tasted too stale to eat.

Additional (and perhaps, costly) ingredients were added to a recipe using a food product that deteriorated in quality. The resulting product had such a poor taste that the cost of the original "bargain" item, as well as the price of the added ingredients, was lost. The problem here is compounded by, as another phrase states, "tossing good money after bad."

What was to be an inexpensive, delicious, made-from-scratch item had to be replaced by a costlier, ready-to-go food to get company dinner on the table in time.

Refrigerator Home Storage (at 40 F or below) of Fresh or Uncooked Products

DIRECTIONS: If product has a "Sell-By Date" or no date, cook or freeze the product by the times on the following chart. NOTE: Learn foods that freeze well at www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/freeze/dont_freeze_foods.html

IMPORTANT: If product has a "Use-By Date," follow that date.

Product Storage Times After Purchase

Poultry 1 or 2 days

Beef, Veal, Pork and Lamb 3 to 5 days

Ground Meat and Ground Poultry 1 or 2 days

Fresh Variety Meats (Liver, Tongue, Brain, Kidneys, Heart, Chitterlings) 1 or 2 days

Cured Ham, Cook-Before-Eating 5 to 7 days

Sausage from Pork, Beef or Turkey, Uncooked 1 or 2 days

Source: USDA/FSIS www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/food_product_dating/index.asp

Table 2. Refrigerator Home Storage (at 40 F or below) of Processed Products Sealed at Plant

DIRECTIONS: If product has a "Sell-By Date" or no date, cook or freeze the product by the times on the following chart. NOTE: Learn foods that freeze well at www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/freeze/dont_freeze_foods.html

IMPORTANT: If product has a "Use-By Date," follow that date.

Processed Product: Unopened, After Purchase After Opening Cooked Poultry: 3 to

4 days, 3 to 4 days Cooked Sausage: 3 to 4 days, 3 to 4 days Sausage,

Hard/Dry, shelf-stable: 6 weeks/pantry 3 weeks/refrigerator Corned Beef,

uncooked, in pouch with pickling juices: 5 to 7 days, 3 to 4 days Vacuum-

packed Dinners, Commercial Brand with USDA seal: 2 weeks, 3 to 4 days

Bacon: 2 weeks, 7 days

Hot dogs: 2 weeks, 1 week

Luncheon meat :2 weeks, 3 to 5 days

Ham, fully cooked: 7 days slices, 3 days; whole, 7 days Ham, canned, labeled

"keep refrigerated" : 9 months, 3 to 4 days Ham, canned, shelf stable: 2

years/pantry, 3 to 5 days/refrigerator Canned Meat and Poultry, shelf stable:

2 to 5 years/pantry, 3 to 4 days/refrigerator

Source: USDA/FSIS www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/food_product_dating/index.asp

 

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