You might have noticed that in the past couple of months, food spoiled easier and faster compared to other months in the year.
That is because the extremely hot weather during the summer affects the shelf life of food— the hotter temperature causes bacteria to grow more rapidly compared to when the temperature is lower. This can be a health hazard if we’re not careful enough. (Read: 4 Ways to Save Refrigerated Food During a Power Outage)
So for World Food Safety Day, which is celebrated every June 7, we’re listing ways on how to keep your food fresh and edible, as explained by Food Safety and Hygiene Consultant Glenn Hyde dela Cruz during her appearance on GMA Network’s Unang Hirit:
#1: Don’t Leave Food for More Than Two Hours
The ‘grace period’ for leaving food out in the open or at room temperature is around two hours, Glenn says. This means you only have two hours to remember to put your food in the refrigerator before it starts accumulating bacteria. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends this.
#2: Make Sure Containers Are Clean
We all know that unclean surfaces and objects contain bacteria and germs, hence the reason for the existence of cleaning materials and liquids. These bacteria and germs, if not removed, can affect food quality and can even make it spoil faster. (Watch: Carmina Villaroel’s Tips to Keep Your Fridge Smelling Fresh)
So before you put your food into a container, Glenn recommends making sure the container is clean, soap-free, and doesn’t smell like anything unusual.
#3: Containers Should Be Closed Tightly
When we take out food from restaurants, we always make sure they’re properly taped and sealed so as to avoid any spillage when we transport them. But did you know that the same level of care should be applied when keeping food at home? (Read: 3 Food Items You Store in Your Fridge but Shouldn’t)
According to Glenn, containers should always be properly sealed so that food won’t be contaminated by any external microbes. These microbes can affect food quality and make food unsafe to eat.