Cool tips for longer lasting food
Let’s all make better use of our fridge and freezer. These cool tips help keep your food fit to eat for longer and save you money.
Your fridge is your friend
To keep your food fresher for longer and at its best, your fridge temperature should be 0 to 5 degrees C. Research shows 30% of our fridges are too warm, this means food won’t last as long as it could. Milk goes off much quicker if your fridge is just a few degrees too warm.
Remember fresh fruit and veg need to breathe in the fridge so don’t store them in completely sealed containers. Fruit and veg packaging has been designed to help it stay fresh for longer, so don’t take the packaging off until you’re ready to eat the food.
Once opened, food like cheese and ham keep better if they’re well wrapped by re-closing the pack, wrapping in clingfilm or foil, or putting in an airtight container.
A survey conducted by WRAP found the foods people freeze most often are lamb, beef, fish, seafood, bakery (bread and cakes), chicken and minced meat.
Some people surveyed thought that eggs (20% of respondents), milk (17%) cheese (16%) and fruit (16%) weren’t suitable for freezing. But you can freeze all these things and more. So as well as the usual food stuff, try freezing something different. Here are some ideas.
Bread – use from frozen as toast or make sandwiches for work – by lunchtime they’ll be defrosted.
Eggs – don’t freeze them in the shell. Beat into a mixture or freeze whites and yolks separately. Defrost in the fridge, not at room temperature. Adding salt (for savoury), sugar (for sweet) stops the yolks going lumpy. Use as you would fresh eggs.
Milk – freeze as soon as possible and thaw in the fridge. Plastic containers are okay for freezing milk in, but the milk will expand so pour out a small amount to allow for this.
Cheese – try grating Cheddar cheese before freezing and use as toppings on pizza or shepherd’s pie from frozen. Stilton can be frozen without grating.
Fruit – slice and freeze lemons then use them straight from the freezer in iced drinks.
Cooked meat – such as chicken or turkey. Thaw in the fridge and use as normal, in casseroles, curries and stews.
Potatoes – parboil and freeze them for later, thaw and roast. Mashed potato freezes well. Remember to portion before freezing.
Yoghurt – pots can be placed straight in the freezer but the yoghurt will expand, so make sure there’s enough space in the pot for this. If there isn’t, transfer to another container before freezing. Defrost and use in smoothies or straight from frozen as a yoghurt dessert.