How to store food to keep it fresh
Fresh produce is a particularly valuable luxury for us. It’s therefore important to store food properly in the fridge so that we don’t need to buy as much, we can save money and reduce food waste.
In which part of the fridge should you keep cheese, sausage, butter, fruit & vegetables, etc.?
What belongs in the fridge and what doesn’t?
In supermarkets, eggs aren’t generally in the chilled aisle yet when most people get home they store them in the fridge, generally in the designated egg tray. But where’s the best place to store them? What food belongs in the fridge and what doesn’t?
Not all varieties of fruit and vegetables like to be chilled to the same temperature. In fact, the origin of the produce helps to determine the best place to store it: tropical fruits such as bananas and oranges prefer room temperature, whereas the following foods are best kept at these temperatures in the fridge or freezer:
- -18°C: a freezer is not only ideal for storing frozen food, ice cream and ice cubes, you can also use it to freeze leftovers so that they keep for longer and can be eaten at a time of your choice later on. To avoid freezer burn and to maintain the cold chain, BORA refrigeration and freezing systems offer Power Cool and Power Freeze functions.
- Around 0°C: perishable foods such as fish, meat, seafood and sausage should be kept in the BORA Fresh zero compartment – the coolest part of your fridge. You can also extend the shelf life of fruit, vegetables, eggs and dairy products by keeping them here.
- Approx. 5°C: the middle of the fridge is the right temperature for dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese, etc. It’s also the best place for cakes, ready meals and food to be defrosted/thawed. Opened food cans and tinned or chopped fruit don’t need to be chilled as much. These are fine in the upper part of your fridge, which tends to be slightly warmer.
- Your fridge door is even warmer. This is a good place for keeping eggs, butter, jams, dressings and tubes. There is usually a bottle shelf for storing drinks at the bottom of the fridge door.
Olive oil, nuts and honey, etc. don’t belong in the fridge. The best place to keep fresh bread is in a bread bin. Food that has a long shelf life can be stored in a dry and dark place, such as a well-ventilated pantry or storage cupboard at an average temperature of 15 to 20°C.
The kitchen itself is not the best place to store food because of the high temperatures. If possible, you should only keep food that will be consumed rapidly in the kitchen. When planning houses and kitchens, it makes sense to align the location of the kitchen to the east or north, so that it does not heat up so much by the sun.
Tip: if you have any cooked leftovers, it’s best to leave them to cool down completely before putting them in the fridge in an airtight storage box.
Our 5 top tips on how to store food properly with BORA
- Create a weekly meal plan and look through your supplies before you go shopping
- Make sure you have the right packaging (as airtight as possible) in suitable accessories
- Vacuum-seal food before storing it for an even longer shelf life
- Check the shelf life of your stored food on a regular basis
- Store food in the appropriate areas at the ideal temperature for each item
How long can you store fruit and vegetables in the fridge?
The amount of time your fruit and vegetables last depends on how fresh they were when you bought them. With the BORA refrigeration and freezing systems, you can extend their shelf life considerably thanks to the precisely adjustable temperature and the BORA Fresh zero compartment. For example, kiwis last for up to 48 days longer, apples and carrots for around 40 days longer, cabbage up to 12 days longer and lettuce up to 11 days longer.
You can find out the precise shelf life of various foods in the BORA refrigeration and freezing systems here.
What are the different areas and temperature zones in refrigerators and freezers?
Here, we will look at the areas and temperature zones of the BORA refrigeration and freezing systems from bottom to top, which more or less equates to ‘cold’ to ‘warm’.
The temperature in the BORA Fresh zero compartment is around 0°C. The resultant conditions are ideal for storing sensitive food such as loose fruit and vegetables. The upper trays with a sealed moisture control cover and high humidity are best for this. Sensitive, packaged food such as meat or fresh milk can also be refrigerated in the BORA Fresh zero tray without a moisture control cover. Such items should ideally be placed in the lowest tray. Optimum storage keeps your food fresh for as long as possible and retains valuable vitamins and minerals.
In the refrigerator section between the BORA Fresh zero compartment and the 4-star freezer compartment the temperature increases from bottom to top. The parting layer with multi-pad separates the climate areas from each other. Store meat, sausage, fish and dairy products at the bottom. Above this, you can keep prepared/cooked dishes, food to be defrosted/thawed and cheese (to mature). In the upper part, you can keep jams, tinned or chopped fruit. Special functions, such as Power Cool, Party and Eco, enable situation-specific changes in cooling conditions for a certain period of time.
The door areas of the fridge tend to be slightly warmer than the rest of the refrigerator. In the tinned foods storage shelves, the BORA multi-use hanging rack, the BORA storage trays and the BORA multi-use spiked mat, you can store jars, tubes, drinks and food that is suitable for direct consumption, such as spreadable butter, perfectly matured cheese or eggs. Milk can also be safely stored here. The convection cooling in the BORA refrigeration systems ensures optimum air circulation in the interior so that temperatures always remain stable in all areas.
The temperature in the 4-star freezer compartment of the BORA Cool refrigerator is at least -18°C. At this low temperature, the shelf life of fresh food can be extended by several months. Thanks to our No Frost technology, which regulates the air humidity in the freezer compartment, freezer burn is avoided. This occurs when food dries out because moisture has been removed from it.
Our No Frost technology also prevents freezer burn and the undesired build-up of ice in the freezer space of the BORA Freeze freezer and the freezer compartments of the BORA Cool refrigerator-freezers.
The freezer drawers are designed for maximum use of the volume, allowing larger quantities to be frozen. The top three levels of the freezer compartment are designed as open pull-out shelves. Here, you can freeze food that needs to be visible at a first glance and as easy to remove as possible. You don’t want the ice-cream cake for dessert at your next party to get squashed when you take it out? The open pull-out shelves are the perfect way to store food safely and remove it easily. You can also stack food in layers here to save space.
The freezer is simple and intuitive to operate via a display. Special functions, such as Power Cool, Party and Eco, enable situation-specific changes in freezing conditions for a certain period of time.
The right way to freeze food
Bear the following tips in mind before freezing food:
- Trim and wash fruit and vegetables before freezing them. Depending on the types of fruit or vegetable, you could also core/peel or blanch them to preserve essential vitamins and their colour.
- Freeze prepared food in ready-to-use, reasonably sized portions.
- Package food in airtight packaging, if possible, or vacuum-seal it in advance.
- Write the content and date on the packaging.
- Bear in mind that frozen food doesn’t last forever. Fruit and vegetables can be frozen for 11 to 15 months, beef and poultry for 9 to 12 months, and fish and high-fat meat for 6 to 9 months. The shelf life of food also depends on other factors, such as the quality of the products.
According to the German Federal Centre for Nutrition (BZfE), you should not freeze the following foods: eggs, leaf lettuce, fresh salads, radishes, raw potatoes, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelons, grapes, whole raw apples/pears, meringues and macaroons. The high water content in these foods make them slushy when you defrost them. Nor should you freeze dairy products, such as yoghurt, soured milk, sour cream and crème fraîche, as they soon coagulate.
Now your food is stored just the right way. Is your fridge nice and tidy and well stocked, without bursting at the seams? The main thing is that your fridge is filled well so that it uses less energy. But when it’s overstocked, the air can no longer circulate properly. Are you satisfied? Excellent! So, now we have a few more tips on how to ensure a refreshingly long shelf life using the BORA special functions in the refrigeration and freezing systems.
How to store food properly
Storing food properly is crucial if you want it to stay fresh for as long as possible. The following scenario probably rings a bell: you go shopping while feeling hungry and end up buying more than you intended to. When you get home, you put your shopping away in the fridge, freezer and pantry, but you have to throw the first items out after just a couple of days because you forgot about them and they aren’t good any longer. Shopping efficiently goes hand in hand with proper food storage if you want to deal with food as sustainably as possible.
From planning and shopping to proper food storage
To prevent bad buys, we recommend coming up with a weekly meal plan. Which dishes do you want to cook over the coming week? Take a look through your fridge or freezer to see which ingredients you already have in stock. Look for recipes which use the food that needs to be prepared soon. Then write a shopping list containing only the specific products that you actually need. Put the items sensibly in your bags and baskets – any sensitive foods need to go at the top, otherwise they can bruise or crack, which makes them spoil sooner. You should always have a cooler bag to hand in hot weather. This helps to maintain the food’s temperature, which also has an effect on its shelf life.
Once you get home, put your shopping away as soon as possible. Prioritise the food that needs to go in the freezer and fridge, and store the other items in a dark, dry place, such as a pantry or storage cupboard. It’s worth removing some foods from their industrial packaging and putting them into BORA Cool accessories, such as storage boxes or sorting tubs. When doing so, pay attention to any special storage requirements.
The best tips and tricks for less food waste
- Shop strategically: start by putting food with the longest shelf life in your basket
- Wash fruit and vegetables just before you eat them, otherwise they perish quicker and lose their taste
- Unpack any fresh food that is wrapped in plastic film
- Keep any leftovers from opened tins of beans or sweetcorn, etc. in sealed containers in the fridge
- Keep any dry ingredients, such as flour, oats or coffee, in packaging that is as airtight as possible
- You can chop off the bottom of herbs, spring onions and asparagus and keep them in a glass of water. If you change the water daily they will remain fresher for much longer.