To Eat Or To Keep: The Shelf Life Of Your Favorite Foods

Knowing the shelf life of your food can keep your family healthy and your body strong. Should it be thrown away or kept for later? Learn more…

What About Food?

Food is one of the most basic commodities, with people consuming an average of 3 to 4 pounds of food each day.

Depending on one’s lifestyle, a consumer may choose between processed and whole foods. Processed food includes any food item that has undergone mechanical or chemical processing in order to preserve it. Some of the most common examples of food in this category are food-on-the-go from fast-food stores, ramen, canned meat, breakfast cereals, and microwaveable food, to mention a few.

Meanwhile, whole foods are those that come in their original, natural form. Fruits, nuts, vegetables, eggs, and fresh meat belong to this food type.


The Shelf Life

Then, there’s organic food. The more health-conscious and environment-loving consumers prefer organically grown food, which uses man-made fertilizers and pesticides sparingly.

If you’re in the business of providing either processed, whole, or organic food to consumers, you need to know how to handle different types of food based on their shelf life. Shelf life pertains to the recommended period of time that you can store food items or meals without them becoming stale.

Once a particular food item goes past its shelf life, its quality will start to deteriorate. There might be a noticeable change in its taste, smell, or texture. Thus, you should discontinue serving food after its shelf life to prevent your customers from digesting anything that may no longer be safe for consumption.


Keeping It Fresh

To make sure that your food products retain their freshest and best condition, you should follow proper storage methods like refrigeration. For instance, raw meat and poultry have a shorter shelf life if it’s not kept in the freezer, but they can be stored for several months up to a year in the frozen section.

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You can also organize your food inventory accordingly. Make sure you prioritize selling those goodies that have been manufactured ahead of the rest since their shelf life will naturally come sooner than later.

The type of packaging you use can also help in extending the shelf life of certain food products. Using airtight bags or pouches prevents moisture – and bacteria – from seeping in.

Then, make it easy for consumers to know just up to when they can eat the food products they bought or ordered for delivery. Stamp the products with a “Use by Date” or “Best Before Date,” along with instructions on what kind of container or temperature is best for storing such items.

Learn more about shelf life and the different ways of keeping food items in their best quality in this feature infographic.


Written by Chief Health

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