Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to painting a picture about ourselves and our families. To balance health, taste and comfort, most home kitchens are equipped with a mix of both foods. Some foods can live in your pantry for months without spoiling, while others can only last a few days, even in ideal refrigerator conditions.
Sometimes it is obvious when food spoils, most of us know that raw meat is not kept in the kitchen cupboard and canned products do not need to be stored in the fridge, but sometimes you may find yourself looking at an item and thinking, where am? Should I save this?
Here’s what you need to know about perishable foods versus perishable foods, why it’s important and how to store them safely, according to Healthline.
Foods that spoil versus those that do not:
In short, perishable foods are those that spoil or “break down” quickly if not stored at certain temperatures, while perishable foods have a longer shelf life and can be stored at room temperature.
What is perishable food?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), perishable foods spoil, degrade, or become hazardous to eat unless refrigerated at 40 ° F (4 ° C) or frozen at 0 ° F. (-17 ° C) or below. .
Examples of perishable foods include:
– Dairy products
– Remaining cooked food
Any fruit or vegetable that has been sliced or chopped
Fresh fruits and vegetables are also perishable, as little can be stored for long periods at room temperature. Most products will last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and should be stored in the refrigerator.
– What is food that does not spoil?
Foods that are not perishable or “shelf stable” can be safely stored for long periods of time at room temperature without spoiling or rotting.
Examples of non-perishable foods include:
Foods prepared in airtight and unpolluted containers You can keep these foods in a cupboard or closet.
Why you should keep perishable foods in the refrigerator:
Keeping perishable foods cold slows down the growth of bacteria and keeps food safe to eat for longer.
There are two different types of bacteria that grow in perishable foods.
Pathogenic bacteria are tasteless, odorless and invisible, but they can make people sick. Examples of pathogenic bacteria include Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Listeria. These bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature and cooling slows their growth dramatically.
Bad bacteria are safe to eat and do not make you sick, but their presence can damage the taste, aroma and appearance of food, which can be unpleasant. Cooling slows down the growth of perishable bacteria, although it continues to grow in the refrigerator.
Different bacteria grow at different rates and under different conditions. Food safety standards take into account the characteristics of many different bacteria and microbes.
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Perishable food storage temperatures:
Perishable foods should be refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) or less, according to Robert Bowitz, Ph.D., MPH, RS, a health worker and advisor to the Board of Internal Health.
Most foodborne illness bacteria grow well at temperatures ranging from 41 ° C to 135 ° F (5 ° to 57 ° C), and this temperature range is generally called the “temperature risk zone”. , says Bowitz for Healthline.
Bacteria grow rapidly in this temperature range.
“If ‘perishable’ foods are kept in this dangerous temperature zone for a long time, diseases and pests will start to grow,” Bowitz said. “Once set, they can be separated and multiplied within 15 minutes.”
As a general rule, perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, cooked foods and sliced foods should not be left in the temperature risk area for more than two hours.
The danger zone does not apply to most raw, unripe fruits and vegetables because they do not grow bacteria as quickly as other perishable foods. However, keeping these foods in the refrigerator is a good idea because it can slow down spoilage.
When foods are frozen and kept at 0 ° F (-17 ° C) and below, the molecules slow down so much that the bacteria cannot grow.
However, once food is thawed, any bacteria present will start to grow again, and while food can be frozen indefinitely without any safety risk, the quality of frozen food will deteriorate over time due to activity of the enzyme that slows down but does not stop with freezing.