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Tips for Food Storage Safety

pantry shelf

As you Spring Clean Your Kitchen to get ready for Passover here are some tips to assist you with food storage safety.

The USDA has a Meat and Poultry Hotline that you may call anytime you have questions regarding your food.  Jot the number down for future use: 1-888-MPHOTLINE.

Food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or frozen must still be stored with care. The following basic guidelines will help you keep your food supply safe.

  • Store all canned food and other dry staples in a cool, clean, dry place. Do not place them in any place that is exposed to high or low temperature extremes.  Once you open a canned food and have some extra, store that food in the refrigerator in a Tupperware airtight container.
  • In general, you can store high-acid food such as tomatoes and other fruit for 12 to 18 months; low-acid food such as meat and vegetables, 2 to 5 years.
  • Discard cans that are dented, leaking, bulging, or rusted.  Can linings, might discolor or corrode when meat reacts with high-acid food such as tomatoes or pineapple.  The contents should be safe to eat as long as the outside of the can is in good shape.  Keep in mind, though, that the taste, texture, and nutritional value of the food can diminish over time.
  • If you’re not sure how old a particular food is, or fear that it may not have been properly refrigerated or has been left out too long, don’t taste it!  Instead, remember the “golden rule” of food storage: ‘When in doubt, throw it out!”
  • The same rule goes for food stored in Tupperware in the refrigerator.  Remember, Tupperware is not a “mausoleum”!  Your opened stored food has a shortened shelf life once opened; so use it as soon as you can.
  • You can purchase labels from Tupperware that have space for the date you stored it and label the type of food in the container.  This helps you follow the rule of usage we recommend: “First food in, first food out!”
  • The greatest danger in canned goods is a toxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria.  Never use food from containers that show possible “botulism” warnings:
  1.  Leaking, bulging, or badly dented cans
  2.  Cracked jars or jars with loose or bulging lids
  3. Canned food with a foul odor
  4. Any container that spurts liquid when opened.

     Play it safe and never taste it.  Even a tiny amount of botulinum toxin can be deadly.  Double bag these cans in plastic bags that are tightly closed.  Then place in a trash receptacle for non-recyclable trash outside of the home.  Keep out of reach of humans and pets.

The following chicken recipe is an old favorite of my family  from my cookbook, NOT JUST A COOKBOOK, for Potato Chip Chicken.   There is a complete PESACH section in my cookbook as well.  I have many customers who have told me they include many of my recipes in their Pesach menu.!