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[ Cooked Food | Dried Food | Eggs | Fish | Meat & Poultry | Milk & Dairy | Oils & Fats | Fruits & Vegetables ]
Won't it be nice if your favorite food can be stored for a longer period of time so that you can slowly relish it for a few days?
Food spoilage causes food to become inedible and can affect your health if not taken seriously. However, this can be prevented by undertaking some measures which maintain the food in better condition. This is very significant in today's society because we often do not have the time to prepare food everyday. In this section, we shall discuss different techniques to avoid food spoilage.
Storing Large Quantities of Cooked Food
Spoilage can occur when a large amount of cooked food is cooled in a refrigerator or freezer . This is because neither the refrigerator nor the freezer can lower the temperature of a large quantity of food quickly enough to prevent germs from multiplying. To prevent this, divide the food into smaller amounts and cool these portions separately in containers (not more than 10cm in height) in a well-ventilated room for about half an hour to an hour. Then, place the containers of cooled food in a refrigerator and cool the contents further to about 5°C. Transfer the small volumes of food into a bigger container and store it in the refrigerator until required. Be sure to consume cooked food within 2 or 3 days.
Dried and dehydrated food is easily attacked by mold, especially if the food gets wet. If the wrapper is torn, the food picks up moisture and can be easily attacked by insects and mold. As prevention
Bacteria can enter eggs through the porous shells when the eggs are stored for a long period of time. Spoilage can also occur when eggs that have been washed are not consumed immediately. Eggs that have dirty and cracked shells are prone to spoilage or food borne-diseases. Spoiled eggs frequently give off a bad smell. As prevention
Fish is more perishable than meat even when refrigerated. The quality of fish begins to change as soon as it is out of water. Freshly caught fish kept at a moderate temperature of 16°C remains good for only one day or less. Some fish may remain good on ice at 0°C for periods of up to about 14 days. Mild salting and smoking keeps fish in good condition at 0°C for only a few weeks. Heavy salting and drying preserve fish for long periods.
Meat & Poultry
Meat or poultry that is left at room temperature for too long encourages bacteria to grow rapidly. If it is wrapped in air-tight material at room temperature, it spoils even faster. This is because the air-tight material retains water that is generated by meat or poultry and provides a better medium for bacterial growth. Similarly, meat or poultry can easily spoil at room temperature if they have not been properly cooked. As prevention
Milk & Dairy
Spoilage occurs when milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products are stored at ambient or room temperature. Cheese spoils when it is stored in a sealed plastic container. As prevention
Oils & Fats
When oil or fat is spoiled, it becomes rancid. Signs of rancidity include
Vegetables & Fruits
Storing vegetables and fruits at ambient temperature after washing also makes them susceptible to spoilage. Spoilage also occurs when there is mold on the raw fruits. As prevention
This page has been authored for participation in
the 1997 Thinkquest Competition.