No More Big Mistakes!
Safe Food Preparation and Storage in Your Home
We’ll show you how to store food for the hard times ahead in a way that avoids contamination and spoilage. What a tragedy it would be for you and your loved ones if you overlook this basic step. So let’s take a few moments right now to make sure this never happens to you. Consider the disgust you’d feel if the time came when you needed to use the food you’d painstakingly put away and discovered that it was now unfit for human consumption. It could simply be annoying. But in a true crisis, this could be a life altering experience that would leave you hungry, thirsty, vulnerable, and quite likely demoralized.
Avoiding Foodborne Illness and Death
with 5 Healthy Food Prep Rules
Thousands of harmful substances like chemicals, bacteria, mold, and parasites can get into food causing serious illness and even death. You and your family cannot take this chance. That’s why you need to learn more about safe food handling methods that will ensure your food supply will be ready and safe to eat: Here’s a rundown of five simple rules for food safety and preparation you need to pay close attention to if you want to preserve your most precious commodity for future use.
- Rule #1 – Always, we repeat always, thoroughly wash your hands and any surfaces that will be touching foods. Use clean utensils and wipe down cutting boards or countertops before and in between each food prep. Use clean water and an antibacterial cleansing product or soap – ordinary dish soap like Dawn is fine. Sanitize kitchen sponges in the dishwasher. Don’t take chances with any of this. Your health depends on it.
- Rule #2 – Select the right air-tight containers for storing your food products in. The Centers for Disease Control advises that you use clean, food-grade containers for food storage, and that they are completely free of any residue left behind by other products. This means you would not use an empty milk jug to store food or water in, because residues from the milk will still be present even if the container is washed.
- Rule # 3 – Avoid cross contamination of foods by keeping them separate from each other. This is especially important with foods like dried fruits and vegetables as well as meat jerky, which may have a shorter lifespan than grains and condiments. If you choose to freeze fresh meats, make sure you process each type of meat separately and store in individual freezer bags, preventing any of these meats touching. Never attempt to store meats that are starting to show signs of age in an attempt to save money.
- Rule #4 – Keep food storage at the proper temperatures and away from excessive moisture and sunlight. First, some foods will spoil incredibly fast if not kept at the right temperature. Other foods will simply lose their nutritional value, which is a complete waste of your time. Moisture encourages canned foods to rust, and the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew that can render food deadly. Excessive sunlight also depletes foods of nutrients and can cause grains to sprout and ferment.
- Rule #5 – Make sure food containers are air tight and designed to keep out pests. During the winter months, vermin like rats and mice, as well as winged pests, such as moths and roaches, look for dark spaces to nest and hibernate. Don’t let your food storage become harbor for these damaging creatures! Inspect your food frequently, looking for signs that pests have moved in (droppings, chew marks) and place a glue trap under food storage shelves. By taking these simple precautions, you can easily avoid many of the common pitfalls of food storage.
You may want to go a few steps further to secure your long term food storage and survival. We’re not saying you have to re-do all your current food storage; just take a moment to learn more about food safety and how you can save food for the day when you will need it. The choice of foods you make for long-term storage and how you handle this food is a critical link in the chain of your survival. The fact is, some foods are safer for you to store for long periods of time, while others go bad quickly, putting you at risk. Let’s take a look at the safest foods to keep on hand for long term versus foods that have a shorter shelf life.
The Safest Foods for Long-Term Storage – and Survival
Freeze dried fruits and vegetables, stored in air tight containers can generally last for up to 25 years, if maintained at room temperature in a dry pantry. This means you can have access to life enhancing vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy for years. The only exceptions to this shelf life are sweet dried fruits and vegetables, which decay faster due to their sugar content. Hard white winter wheat, grown in the USA, when handled properly and stored in air tight, food grade containers with Mylar lining and an anti-moisture pad, can last up to 30 years in the average person’s “deep pantry.” While some of the flavor of this grain may fade over a period of time, it will be edible and useful for a variety of purposes including baking and even treating skin rashes. Rice, both long-grain white and brown varieties, can be safely stored in food grade containers for up to 30 years as well. The trick is to line 5 lb. food-grade containers with anti-moisture Mylar plastic, then pour the rice up to a half inch from the lid. Then close it up tight and store stacked on top of each other in a cool section of your pantry or a spare room.
Food Safety Begins with Common Sense
Again, use your common sense and wash your hands and any surfaces before handling food. Keep your food away from any toxins in your home, such as cleaning supplies, or garden chemicals. Once a year, rotate your foods, check for signs of spoilage and toss out anything questionable. By handling your food safely, and getting ready now with a food grade storage system, you can survive anything.