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Storage Tips for Food

Here are some storage tips for food that will pay you big dividends in money and good flavor in the long run. A principle: promptly unpack groceries and store perishables as directed.

Fresh vegetables: Wash, drain, and dry greens; wrap or put in plastic bag; chill. Scrub carrots, celery, radishes, and green onions under cold weather. Dispose of excess leaves and tops. Wrap or bag vegetables separately in moisture vapor proof materials. Store dry onions, potatoes, and winter squash unwashed in dark cool place. Clean when ready to use.

Fresh fruits: Sort berries; spread on shallow pan or tray. Don’t wash. Chill. Wash and stem before using. Ripe avocados, melons, and pears at room temperature; then refrigerate. Do not refrigerate bananas. Store fresh uncut pineapple in dark cool place. After cutting, wrap pineapple and chill in refrigerator.

Canned food leftovers: Cover and store in opened can for short period of time of transfer to covered refrigerator container.

Meat: Plan to use ground meat within 2 days, roasts 5-6 days, chops and steak – 3 days. Store cured and smoked meats in refrigerator in original wrap. Canned meats keep on the kitchen shelf, except for canned hams which are marked “perishable; keep refrigerated.”

For fresh chicken, turkey, or other poultry, store same as fresh meat below.

Fish: Wrap tightly; refrigerate.

Cheese: Wrap tightly and refrigerate. Chill cheese spreads in refrigerator once they’re opened. Store strong-flavored cheeses in tightly covered jars; refrigerate.

Eggs: Store, covered, small end down in refrigerator. Don’t wash till ready to use.

Dried fruits and nuts: Keep in covered jars or packages in cool, dry place. Nuts keep longer if stored in refrigerator.

Cookies: Soft and crisp kinds don’t mix; store separately. Soft cookies stay moist when tightly covered. Crisp types of cookies keep well in jar with a loose-fitting lid.

Susan Carey