Know : List of Foods’ Storage Periods

 

Food-storage-shelf-items

Proper food storage helps maintain food quality by retaining flavor, color, texture and nutrients, while reducing the chance of contracting a food-borne illness. Foods can be classified into three groups.

  • Perishable foods include meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs and many raw fruits and vegetables. All cooked foods are considered perishable foods. To store these foods for any length of time, perishable foods need to be held at refrigerator or freezer temperatures. If refrigerated, perishable foods should be used within several days.
  • Semi-perishable foods, if properly stored and handled, may remain unspoiled for six months to about one year. Flour, grain products, dried fruits and dry mixes are considered semi-perishable.
  • Staple, or non-perishable, foods such as sugar, dried beans, spices and canned goods do not spoil unless they are handled carelessly. These foods will lose quality, however, if stored over a long time, even if stored under ideal conditions.

There is no exact method to determine how long a food will maintain quality and be safe to eat, because many conditions affect the quality. The storage life of foods is affected by the:

  • freshness of the food when it reached the grocery store
  • length of time and the temperature at which it was held before purchase
  • temperature of your food storage areas
  • humidity level in your food storage areas
  • type of storage container or packaging the food is stored in
  • characteristics of the food item

 

Storage Periods for Retaining Food Quality
Food Room Temperature Refrigerator Freezer at 0°F
Milk/Milk Products
Milk 1 week 1 month
Butter 2 weeks 12 months
Canned or dry milk (unopened) 6 months
Cottage cheese 1 week 3 months
Cream 1-2 weeks
Ice cream 2-3 weeks
Margarine 1 month 12 months
Natural cheese 1 month 4-6 months
Processed cheese 1 month 4-6 months
Sour cream, buttermilk, cream cheese 2 weeks Not recommended
Yogurt 1 month
Meat
Fresh roasts, steaks, chops 3-4 days 2-3 months
Fresh livers, hearts, kidneys, other variety meats 1-2 days 3-4 months
Fresh ground meat, stew meat 1-2 days 3-4 months
Cured pork and lunch meat 1 week Not recommended
Cooked meat, gravies made with meat stock 2-3 days 2-3 months
Canned meat 1 year
Meat pies, stews, casseroles, meat salads 2-3 days 3 months
Hotdogs 1 week (opened) 2 weeks (unopened) 1-2 months
Bacon 7 days 1 month
Sausage, raw from pork, beef, turkey 1-2 days 1-2 months
Hard sausage-pepperoni, jerky sticks 2-3 weeks 1-2 months
Poultry/Eggs
Fresh poultry 2 days 6-8 months
Cooked poultry 2-3 days 6 months
Poultry stuffing 1 day
Poultry pies, stews, creamed dishes, gravies 1 day 6 months
Poultry salads 1 day
Eggs 2-4 weeks 1 year
Raw yolk, whites 2-4 days 1 year
Hardcooked eggs 1 week Not recommended
Liquid pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes 10 days (unopened) 3 days (opened) 1 year (unopened)
Egg-containing products: custards, custard sauces, puddings, custard-filled pastries or cakes 1-2 days Not recommended
Puddings, canned 1-2 days (opened)
Fish/Seafood
Fresh fish 1-2 days 3-6 months
Cooked fish 3-4 days 1 month
Fish salad 1 day
Smoked fish 10 days 4-5 weeks
Canned fish 1 year Not recommended
Dried or pickled fish 3-4 weeks
Clams, oyster (shucked) and scallops 7-9 days
Crab 7 days 2 months
Shrimp 3-5 days 6-12 months
Lobster (shelled or unshelled) 3-7 days 6-12 months
Wild Game
Venison 3-5 days 3-4 months
Rabbit, squirrel 1-2 days 12 months
Wild duck, pheasant, goose(whole) 1-2 days 6 months
Fruits
Apples Until ripe 1 month
Citrus fruits 2-6 weeks
Grapes 1-3 weeks
Melons, most varieties 1 week
Peaches, nectarines 2-3 weeks
Pears (mature but not fully ripe) 1-3 months
Pineapple, ripe 1 week
Other fresh fruit Until ripe 3-5 days 9-12 months
Canned fruit 1 year 2-4 days (opened)
Dried fruit 6 months 2-4 days (cooked)
Fruit juice concentrates 1 year
Canned fruit juices 1 year 3-4 days (opened)
Vegetables
Asparagus 2-3 days
Broccoli, brussels sprouts, green peas, green onions, lima beans, rhubarb, greens, summer squash, mushrooms 3-5 days
Cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, snap beans, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes 1 week
Carrots, beets, parsnips, radishes, turnips 2 weeks
Corn 1 day
White potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, rutabagas, dry onions 1 week (several months at 50-60°F)
Canned or dried vegetables 1 year 1-4 days (opened/cooked)
Cereal Products
Flour, white 1 year
Flour, whole or wheat 6-8 months 1 year
Rice, white 2 years
Rice, brown 6 months
Ready-to-eat cereals 1 year
Uncooked cereals 1 year
Pasta 1 year
Corn meal 1 year
Bakery Goods
Breads, baked with no preservatives 2-3 weeks 2-3 months
Breads, quick, baked 2 months
Cake, angel 6-12 months
Cake, baked, frosted 1 month
Cake, baked, unfrosted 2-4 months
Cakes, batter 1 month
Cakes, fruit 6-12 months
Cinnamon rolls, partially baked 2 months
Cookies, baked, homemade 2-3 weeks 6-12 months
Cookies, dough 1-2 days 3 months
Cookies, packaged 2 months 12-18 months
Crackers 2 months
Doughnuts, unfrosted 2-4 months
Muffins, baked 6-12 months
Pies, fruit 2-3 days (baked) 1-2 days (unbaked) 6-8 months (baked) 2-4 months (unbaked)
Pies, pumpkin or chiffon 2-3 days 1-2 months
Rolls and bread, unbaked 2-3 weeks 1 month
Waffles 1 month
Mixes/Packaged Foods
Biscuit, brownie, muffin mix 9 months
Cake mixes 6-9 months
Casserole mix 9-12 months
Cookies, homemade 2-3 weeks
Cookies, packaged 2 months
Crackers 3 months
Croutons and bread crumbs 6 months 6 months 1 year
Frosting, canned 3 months
Frosting, mix 8 months
Hot roll mix 18 months
Pancake mix 6-9 months
Piecrust, mix 6-9 months
Potatoes, instant 6-12 months
Rice mixes 6 months
Sauce and gravy mixes 6-12 months
Soup mixes 12 months
Toaster pastries 2-3 months
Other Foods
Baking powder 18 months
Baking soda 2 years
Chocolate syrup 2 years (unopened) 6 months (opened)
Cocoa mixes 8 months
Coffee, lighteners (dry) 9 months (unopened) 6 months (opened)
Cornstarch 18 months
Gelatin 18 months
Pectin 1 year
Salad dressings, bottled 12 months (unopened) 1-3 months (opened) Not recommended
Sugar, brown 18 months
Sugar, confectioners’ 18 months
Sugar, granulated 2 years
Vinegar 2 years (unopened) 1 year (opened)
Cheese, parmesan, grated 10 months (unopened) 2 months (opened)
Coconut, shredded 12 months (unopened) 6 months (opened)
Imitation bacon bits, etc. 4 months
Peas, beans, dried 12 months
Popcorn 2 years
Whipped topping, dry 12 months
Yeast, dry Expiration date on package
Honey, jams, syrups, molasses 1 year
Nuts, unshelled 6 months
Nuts, shelled 6 months
Peanut butter 6 months (unopened) 2 months (opened)
Chocolate 1 year
Coffee 1 year (unopened) 2-4 weeks (opened)
Coffee, instant 6 months (unopened) 2 months (opened)
Pudding mixes 1 year
Shortening, solid 8 months
Vegetable oils 1-3 months
Tea, bags or loose 1 year
Tea, instant 1 year
Soft drinks 3 months
Bouillon products 1 year
Mayonnaise 10-12 weeks Not recommended
Spices, Herbs, Condiments, Extracts
Catsup, chili sauce 12 months (unopened) 1 month (opened)
Mustard, prepared yellow (refrigerate 2 years (unopened) for longer storage) 6-8 months (opened)
Spices, whole 1-2 years
Spices, ground 6 months
Herbs 6 months
Herb/spice blends 2 years (unopened) 12 months (opened)
Other extracts 12 months

Exclusive Cupboard Storage Chart
• Store foods in cool cabinets and away from appliances which produce heat.
• Many staples and canned foods have a relatively long shelf life, but buy only what you can expect to use within the time recommended in the chart. Date food packages and use the oldest first. Foods stored for longer than recommended times or beyond date on the package may change quality, color and flavor.
• Buy fresh-looking packages. Dusty cans or torn labels can indicate old stock. Do not purchase dented or bulging cans.

Cupboard Storage Cupboard Storage2

Courtesy & Credits : UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA–LINCOLN &  North Dakota State University

Excerpts from original articles by


 

Know : Fruit Waxing and Safe-Consuming of Waxed Fruits

Fruit waxing is the process of covering fruits (and in some cases vegetables) with the artificial waxing material. Natural wax is removed first, usually by washing. Waxing materials may be either natural or petroleum-based.

The primary reasons for waxing are to prevent water loss (making up for the removal in washings of the natural waxes in fruits that have them, particularly citrus, but also, for example, apples) and thus retard shrinkage and spoilage, and to improve appearance. Dyes may be added to further enhance appearance, and sometimes fungicides. 

How to be Careful in consuming Artificially Waxed Apples?

Wax Coated ApplesIt is a fact that apple fruits are coated with wax, but the wax that is generally used is edible one and is safe to consume. However, some unscrupulous producers can coat apples with petroleum-based waxes that are harmful for human health.

Apples have natural wax coating on their surface, you can observe this when you pluck an apple from a tree and rub it with your hands. The whitish kind of powder that sticks to your palms is the natural wax on the surface of apple fruit. Likewise, when you scratch an artificially waxed apple, you will see a thin layer peeling off.

Apples are coated with wax for several reasons, like preservation, reduce loss of water, increase visual freshness and of course, replace the natural wax, because cleaning and processing of apples results in the loss of natural wax coat. This practice is very common, especially in supermarkets. Thin layer of wax is coated on apples, either by dipping, brushing or spraying with edible waxes like Carnauba or Shellac that are completely safe to consume and are not harmful. This edible wax is not digested, but is passed out through the digestive system.

On the other hand, some unscrupulous producers use the harmful petroleum-based waxes for coating of apples. If an apple looks very glossy and shiny, it is to be suspected. To avoid harmful wax coat, it is advisable to buy apples from markets and places where apples are grown. The chances that the farmers have not waxed apples will be good here. It is also a better idea to buy the dull apples that are fresh, without any kind of artificial coating.

More importantly, it is always a good practice to clean apples with lukewarm water thoroughly before eating. Also, you may use a paper towel with some vinegar (acetic acid) to wipe the apple before washing. Another obvious way to avoid harmful wax of apple fruits is to remove the entire peel, but you might lose on certain vitamins and also the crispiness of the peel. You can share and spread this health awareness about waxed apples. – (Courtesy: HoaxorFact.com)

Waxing Materials

The waxing materials used depend to some extent on regulations in the country of production and/or export; both natural waxes (sugar-cane, carnaubashellac, resinor) or petroleum-based waxes (usually proprietary formulae) are used. Wax may be applied in a volatile petroleum-based solvent but is now more commonly applied via a water-based emulsion. Blended paraffin waxes applied as an oil or paste are often used on vegetables. Brand names for waxes include Tal-Prolong, Semper-fresh, Frutox, Waxol, Fruit and vegetable kleen and Decco Luter

Know : Glazing Agent:

glazing agent is a natural or synthetic substance that provides a waxy, homogeneous, coating to prevent water loss and provide other surface protection for the substance.

Differences between natural and synthetic glazing agents : 

Natural

Natural glazing agents have been found present, most often in plants or insects. In nature, the agents are used to keep the moisture in the specimen, but science has harnessed this characteristic by turning it into a glazing agent that acts as a coating. This glazing agent is made up of a substance that is classified as a wax. A natural wax is chemically defined as an ester with a very long hydrocarbon chain that also includes a long chain alcohol. However, in a wax there have been many different chemical structures that can be included in a definition of a wax, such as: wax esters, sterol esters, ketones, aldehydes, alcohols, hydrocarbons, and sterols.

Examples are:

Synthetic

Science has produced similar glazing agents that mimic their natural counterparts. These components are added in different proportions to achieve the most optimal glazing agent for a product. These products range from things in the cosmetic, automobile and food industry.

  • Some of the characteristics that are looked for in all of the above industries are:

1. Preservation- It refers to the glazing agent to be able to protect the product from degrading and water loss. The characteristic can lead to a longer shelf life for a food or the longevity of a car without rusting.

2. Stability- It is important for the glazing agent itself to maintain its integrity if under any pressure or heat.

3. Uniform viscosity- This ensures for a stronger protective coating because it can be applied to the product as a homogeneous layer.

4. Industrial reproduction- This is important because most glazing agents are used on commercial goods and therefore large quantities of glazing agent may be needed.

There are different variations of glazing agents, depending on the product, but they are all designed for the same purpose.

Fruits were waxed to cause fermentation as early as the 12th or the 13th century; commercial producers began waxing citrus to extend shelf life in the 1920s and 1930s. Aesthetics—consumer preference for shiny fruit—has since become the main reason. 

In addition to fruit, some vegetables can usefully be waxed, such as cassava; vegetables commonly waxed include cucumbers, swedes or rutabagas and green tomatoes. A distinction may be made between storage wax, pack-out wax (for immediate sale) and high-shine wax (for optimum attractiveness)


Courtesy : Wikipedia and HoaxorFact